‘Have some empathy when handing out defects or fines to truckies’


Our Big Rigs story on scalies infringing drivers for minor defects when travelling back from Cape York had a big response from many truckies, with a majority focusing on the bad condition of the Peninsula Development Road (PDR).

Truckies were being fined for minor things such as a broken light, a loose battery or a damaged sensor.

Weipa-based Gavan Roy was like many respondents who said the minor damage on the way back was caused by the state of the PDR.

“They need to be more lenient, particularly when trucks are returning from Cape York, there are going to be things broken or needing attention,” Roy said.

“Everyone thinks because there is all these bitumen works, bridge works and general upgrades going on up here that the roads are in better condition, but it’s quite the opposite.

“Some dirt sections are absolutely horrendous and dangerous.”

For example there is one section of road just out of Weipa – Myall Creek to York Downs – which is 11km long.

“This is taking me one hour and seven minutes, you can imagine the toll this is taking on the trucks, particularly those of us who are travelling on it daily.”

It’s not just the scalies ruffling feathers, Roy continued.

“The road command coppers are also out there doing their bit, paying particular interest to work diaries. They also need to take a step back and understand that sometimes we can’t just pull up for our regulated breaks – there just isn’t anywhere to pull up safely.

“There are a few roadhouses and a couple of communities along the PDR, with next to no facilities for truckies in between.

“These authorities need to take into account the extreme conditions we deal with and have some empathy when handing out defects or fines.”

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