Redstar driver Fabian receives Highway Guardian award

By: Anjali Behl

DSC 7180 (L-R) Redstar Transport GM Chris Pearce, Bridgestone national commercial sales manager Geoff May, Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award winner John Fabian and ATA chair Geoff Crouch. DSC 7180

Maguire suggests campaign to promote the image of trucking community among general public


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA), in association with Bridgestone, awarded Redstar Transport driver John Fabian with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian Award in Melbourne yesterday.

Fabian was commended for his efforts in coordinating with emergency services during a head-on car collision at a remote location along the Adelaide-Perth route in February.

The award recognises the efforts of professional truck drivers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist those in need during the course of their working day.

On the day of the incident, Fabian was one of the first to arrive at a crash scene on Eyre Highway, approximately 150km west of Ceduna.

He contacted the Redstar operations team in Melbourne to relay his location to local emergency services before attempting to assess the conditions of those involved in the incident.

"There was a lady trapped in one of the vehicles, so I just asked a couple questions to see where the pain was and ascertained that she potentially had some lower limb crush injuries, another person had abdominal trauma and a broken leg," Fabian says. 

"The second I spoke to emergency services, we just went through all the possible injuries they had and they let me know there were three ambulances about an hour away and a couple of nurses from the Yalata Indigenous community were also inbound." 

Fabian, who has been driving trucks for more than seven years, more than two years’ of which have been at Redstar, has spent a decade in the military and three years contracting in Iraq.

He credits his military background for his ability to react responsively in an emergency situation and coordinating critical response with emergency services.

"In those environments, you have a lot of adrenaline that goes through your body and trying to stay level headed is one of the biggest things," Fabian says. 

"Because of my training, I’ll constantly be looking at things that possibly need to be done to mitigate a crisis situation, or what could be done in order to make things a little bit easier." 

The award was presented at a special event hosted by ATA and Bridgestone at Redstar’s Derrimut office. 

ATA CEO Ben Maguire says the general public is reliant on the services of truck drivers and the trucking body encourages moves designed to promote good practices and heroic deeds by truckies to help people around them.

"The industry is going through lots of change in the ageing demographic of drivers, the amount of trucks on the roads, who’s causing the accidents and there is more and more pressure on the industry for the perception of driver, the quality of driver and road safety," Maguire says.

"The ATA believes that we should be promoting the quality of our existing drivers, people like John, who has got a military background, highly trained, a career professional, a diligent member of the community, and the general public would not consider John as a long-haul driver."

Maguire says efforts like Fabian’s deserve to be promoted through a dedicated campaign that works to boost the image of the trucking industry, particularly drivers, among the general public.

He likens it to a project by the National Farmers Federation called ‘Every Family Needs a Farmer’, which was about connecting the community with the farmers.

Maguire says there is a "real project" here to promote the image of the trucking community.

Redstar GM Chris Pearce, who nominated Fabian for the award, commended the driver’s "ability to engross himself in the situation and help save someone’s life".

Pearce congratulates Fabian for representing the company "fantastically" and says his selfless act was a "valuable lesson for the trucking community".

"He’s an extremely skilled driver… We are proud of the guy for putting himself in the situation to save someone," Pearce says.

"Being an ex-personnel myself, I know that a lot of people just keep driving and leave it to the authorities to take care of the situation.

"Being a member of the ATA and VTA, I was aware of this award and thought [his efforts] deserved to be recognised."

ATA chair Geoff Crouch praised Fabian’s quick-thinking ability to help those involved in the accident.

"All truck drivers have a basic set of protocols to follow in these kind of situations, but John’s response is indicative of someone with a wealth of emergency experience," Crouch says. 

"We are lucky to have a driver of his calibre on the roads, and I commend his ability to remain calm and composed and to take charge of the situation." 

Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand MD Andrew Moffatt says Fabian’s ability to remain calm and coordinate a rapid emergency response was worthy of acknowledgement.

"Mr Fabian’s ability to calmly assess the situation and pass critical information on to emergency services meant that not only were they on the scene quickly, but they were also prepared for what awaited them," Moffatt says. 

"The ability to remain composed in such a stressful situation is a remarkable character trait and one worthy of recognition."

There is no formal nomination process and potential candidates for award can be brought to ATA’s attention at any time by emailing

For more information about the award, visit National Trucking Industry Awards website.


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