‘At it again’: Sensationalist reporting following truck break-down

In an article online today reporting on a B-double that broke down at the intersection of Portrush Rd and Greenhill Rd at 5am, the sensationalist culture of The Advertiser is again on display.

They describe the B-double as a “Giant truck” and report that a tow truck is on its way to remove the “Monster vehicle”.


That sort of immature sensationalism in reporting on trucks went out of date 15 to 20 years ago.

When a Dodge Ram is in a collision, adjectives such as monster, giant, huge, enormous, do not seem to dribble from the Advertiser’s keyboards.

The trucking industry doesn’t move freight for the fun of it or for our own use, it’s for the community’s benefit and sustains the community’s lifestyle. B-doubles provide major benefits for the community. The very substantial volume of freight has to be moved from thousands of points of origin to thousands of delivery points and 85 per cent of the freight simply is not practical to move by rail. So it’s on the road and will continue to be.

So the only question is how can we best move that essential road freight safely with the best environmental and amenity outcomes?

The answer, which all governments around Australia understand, is to optimise the use of the most productive and safe truck configurations, such as B-doubles.

This benefits the community by minimising the number of trucks on the road and the number of truck movements. That dramatically reduces freight-related congestion on the road, emissions and noise by over 40 per cent. It also provides a major safety gain because as government figures continually show around the country, including in SA, over 80 per cent of fatal car-truck crashes are caused by the motorists involved. Thus by minimising the number of necessary truck movements, the opportunities for those motorists to make bad mistakes, usually through carelessness, is also cut by over 40 per cent.

So instead of bagging the trucking industry, as we sustain the community’s daily lifestyle AND the Advertiser itself, perhaps the Advertiser should educate its reporters and editors and support the 300,000 hard-working people in the industry who keep the community and the economy going.

  • Steve Shearer is executive officer of the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend