Frustrated truckies’ advocate tells inquiry that state agency is failing drivers

High-profile truckie Rod Hannifey believes Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is not playing its part in helping truckies deal with the many safety issues they now face while doing their jobs.

In a hard-hitting submission to the NSW parliamentary inquiry underway into the pressures on truckies and their impact in NSW, a frustrated Hannifey said the state’s transport agency must do better – and start listening to drivers.

In his many years of lobbying for safer roads for truckies, more parking bays, or overtaking lanes, among other issues under TfNSW’s control, Hannifey said he had been largely stonewalled at every turn.

“Much of this is aimed at Transport for NSW as the regulatory body responsible for many of these issues,” writes Hannifey, who stresses that he is made his submission in his capacity as an interstate driver, rather than as president of the National Road Freighters Association.

“I have tried to be respectful, have emailed and rang and dealt with these and other state bodies for many years, mostly to be ignored.

“I am very frustrated, towards becoming cynical, that our lives on the road as truckies really mean little to those in authority and this is borne of more than 20 years trying to see change.”

Hannifey told the inquiry that he would like answers from the state government and TfNSW to the below, and if the issues raised can’t be fixed, he wants to know why not.

  1. Will you please fix the angle and alignment of the overtaking lane signs?
  2. Will you please consider marking the length of the overtaking lanes. It is now done in WA, only 19 years since I put it forward at the National Road Safety Summit in Canberra?
  3. Will you guarantee no more truck bays of any type will be lost unless there is the same or increased capacity made available in the same area with any works on any road?
  4. When will you actually listen and act on anything I put forward? I have been trying for years and yet here we are, you taking away more sites. I recognise there has been change and thank you for asking drivers to participate and contribute. It took me nearly 12 months and lots of calls and emails to finally have someone send me details of the “improvements” proposed for the Tycannah Creek Rest Areas. That work would have cut down the trees that provide needed shade in the only bay like it on the Newell Highway, no one else cared and it should not take so much effort to be heard and or listened to.
  5. Will you help me gain accreditation to fit the green reflectors to sites and pay me for it? I am no fool, I will not stand in the middle of the road and have put forward a procedure for consideration.
  6. Drivers tell me regularly I have saved their lives, when they were tired and needed a place to stop and or sleep. You are taking such sites off us. Can you please tell me why?
  7. Will you replace the sites you have taken from us?
  8. Will you provide a site for changeover drivers at or near Clybucca?

“I do not raise these issues lightly and I request you take this as seriously as I do,” Hannifey added.

“It is our lives on the road at risk, not yours and you are increasing that risk, instead of helping to lessen it.

“I do not ring and report road failures and issues for fun, I want the roads safer for all, not just truckies or myself and you have the ability to help, not just say, we will look into it and more drivers die.”

For more details of Hannifey’s eight-page submission, click here, or grab your free copy of the October 27 edition of Big Rigs from your usual outlet.

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