Getting the green light
Recent and impending upgrades on some of our major road freight routes are a longawaited step in the right direction. writes
THE START of a new financial year has passed and how are you going? Have you improved your lot this year, did you get a wage rise and I suppose, the even bigger question, do you think you are being paid what you are worth?
We are a service industry, we service companies in carrying their goods for use in manufacture and/ or we deliver to customers and consumers everything they need to live. Do they recognise this and value what we do for them?
The future is all up in the air with everything autonomous. Let’s hope cars will be safer and less likely to crash into trucks, but will we still have a job?
An article in a United States’ truck newsletter said the government had destroyed manufacturing and everything else for jobs and now they are attacking trucking.
Another said US drivers will still have jobs for years to come, yet the UK is seeking discussions on what will happen to all the truck drivers when none have a job.
Technology can be marvellous for some and painful for others. Governments continue to say we must increase productivity and growth, yet what happens when robots and computers mean few people have jobs?
Without a paying job, who will have any money to buy the things that the computers and robots can make so much cheaper and faster than people?
So against all that, let’s go positive for a minute. Some of you may have seen the announcements for funding from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator ( NHVR) and the Federal Government towards the next round of heavy vehicle safety. I tried to apply previously and was told it was only for government departments, so I welcome this idea of going to the community to see what they can offer to improve road safety on the road.
From the vast oversubscription to the funds allocated to this part of the total funding, one must really appreciate the depth of feeling of many who want things to improve.
It’s not all about government departments having all the say; they’re not always the ones being affected by bad decisions, or simply having nothing done of real value.
I did apply for funding for a ‘Sharing the Road with Trucks’ campaign and it would seem so did many others. The recent announcement says there is funding for that effort, but they will have to work out the best way to do it.
I have still offered to help if I can in any way and do believe it should be done by someone on the road and not by a major company using it as advertising and being a good corporate citizen.
The NSW Roads and Maritime Services were going to do such a program many years ago and it got shifted and kicked from team to team so nothing ever happened.
I also sought to have safety messages about trucks on the overhead displays. While that does happen now, it took a long time.
Funding to the Caravan Industry Association may seem strange to some, but they will hopefully have the capacity to get to those on the road, something we can’t even do well within our own industry.
There is no doubt we need more and better rest areas, but until we get them, we need the capacity to be available, not filled by those few who do not understand our issues and needs, or who simply want to save a few bucks on going to a caravan park, but still can’t park well enough to let a large truck in late at night.
I welcome some funding for the ‘Green Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Bays’ on the Newell Highway and will do my best to see it completed and maintained for the year. Part of the funding will go to a flyer to be put up in truck stops within highways so marked.
In other news on green reflectors, I have been informed that the four highways to be completed with funding from two years ago, namely the Kidman Way (Cobar to Moree), Kamilaroi Highway (Bourke to Narrabri), Gwydir Highway (Walgett to Moree) and Mitchell Highway ( Nyngan to Barringun) will be done within the month. You may even see some green reflectors on other roads as and when it can be done. I am still aiming to make it a national system, but you all know how hard that is.
Also, it is good to see new rest areas on the Golden Highway being built and others being upgraded with more to come. However, having travelled that way a few times recently, it now needs some serious road repairs. But again, it’s good to finally see the Denman rail crossing approaching a reasonable bit of road.
Lastly, I have started a new Facebook page, ‘Audio Books for the Road’, and will review audio books there and will list some of those I have enjoyed over the last few years. I also hope to have some for prizes from those who supply audio books.
This follows on from an invitation to be a judge for the audiobook of the year. I simply could not afford the time to go to Sydney for the judging panel’s final choices, but it was agreed I could do it on the phone.
My input was welcomed and some of the judges made comment on a previous story done on audiobooks and my life on the road.
Green reflectors indicating informal parking bays are on the increase