Stern safety reminder issued over dangerous driving

ATA calls for patience as unedifying dashcam footage emerges

Stern safety reminder issued over dangerous driving
A still of the Hume Highway incident footage


A dangerous-driving episode involving a truck and ute – following other notable recent incidents involving road rage – has prompted enforcement action and a safety reminder from the Australian Trucking Association (ATA).

Officers from New South Wales Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Strike Force Puma released dashcam footage of the incident on the Hume Highway at Menangle in Sydney’s south west and are appealing for public assistance for their investigation.

The vision, which was posted on social media, depicts a truck in the right lane veer right to impede a ute whose driver is using the right emergency stopping lane as a third overtaking lane, having already overtaken another ute.

"This event could have quite easily added to the road toll, which already sits at 116 lives lost on NSW roads this year," Traffic and Highway Patrol Command assistant commissioner Michael Corboy says.

"We acknowledge drivers may experience frustrating incidents while they are behind the wheel, nothing is worth putting lives at risk.

"Police are always monitoring social media to identify dangerous driving on the state’s roads so that we can take action.

"The fact that we are regularly alerted to these sorts of incidents by members of the public shows that other road users have had enough; they are united with police in their intolerance for dangerous driving behaviour on NSW roads.

"As our investigations into this incident continue, I would encourage anyone who has footage of this event, or even those involved, to come forward to police." 

Having seen the footage, the ATA responds by urging drivers to double down on safety.

"Covid-19 has understandably put the community in a place of heightened stress and anxiety, but it’s imperative that we continue to make safety a priority," ATA CEO Ben Maguire says.

"The behaviour of both drivers in this footage is simply irresponsible and not at all a reflection of the kind of action we expect from road users.

"Everyone on our roads, whether they be in a car, truck or on a motorcycle must value the safety of themselves and others."

Maguire adds the ATA is urging all road users to demonstrate patience and respect for others and says that Australia’s professional truck drivers "must continue to set a positive example".

"While this footage highlights behaviour that is appalling and shocking, it is not reflective of the majority of truck drivers who get behind the wheel every day and do the right thing.

"We’re really appealing to everybody on the road, particularly during this time where people are stressed, to show more concern for those around them."

It comes after a string of incidents involving heavy vehicles and the consequences of alleged road rage.

Most notably two men were fatally struck by a B-double on the Pacific Highway south of Ballina.

Police were told the drivers of an SUV and a semi-trailer carrying logs were both travelling south along the highway on Monday night, before stopping and becoming involved in a minor altercation.

The drivers got out of their vehicles and were fighting in the northbound lane when they were struck by a B-double, with both dying at the scene.

The driver of the B-double was taken to hospital for tests.

Authorities continue to probe Melbourne's high-profile fatal truck-police crash

In a separate incident, NSW Police also released footage of a man in a Holden Commodore driving north on Roper Road, Colyton, when he tried to merge into a right turning lane towards the M4 and collided with the front of a truck.

As the truck driver was turning onto the M4, the Commodore driver allegedly sped in front of the truck, before braking repeatedly several times, with police alleging this forced the truck driver to brake heavily to avoid a crash.

During the incident, the Commodore driver also allegedly leaned out of his window and yelled at the truck driver, nearly crashing into a concrete barrier.

After an investigation, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command under Strike Force Puma issued $1,400 in fines and 11 demerit points to a 47-year-old man for negligent driving and other related infringements.


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