YOUR/SAY

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Owner Driver - - News - Ken Wil­son Bund­aberg Qld

Dear Owner//Driver ED­U­CA­TION FOR CARAVANNERS I have just read Rod Han­nifey’s ar­ti­cle through the Owner//Driver Face­book page and have spo­ken with Rod on sev­eral oc­ca­sions and ap­pre­ci­ate his ad­vice and rec­om­men­da­tions re­gard­ing a project I am cur­rently work­ing on and would like to share with your mem­bers and view­ers.

As a car­a­van­ner, I am fully aware of how frus­trat­ing it can be for the truck­ing in­dus­try with un­e­d­u­cated driv­ers and caravanners on the road who can, by pure ig­no­rance or lack of ed­u­ca­tion, cause so many prob­lems on our high­ways for the truck driv­ers.

While I ac­knowl­edge that there are good and bad on both sides I be­lieve, as does Rod, that a lit­tle ed­u­ca­tion can go a long way to help all.

I have started the ‘Truck Friendly’ driver ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram which is de­signed to help ed­u­cate caravanners, RV driv­ers and the truck driv­ers on how to help each other on the roads.

Ini­tially this Truck Friendly pro­gram was in­vited to be a part of the Queens­land Po­lice, Stay on Track Out­back (SOTO) driver ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram based at Charleville Po­lice dis­trict here in Queens­land.

SOTO in the first two years of life helped re­duce ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing car­a­vans by 50 per cent in the Charleville Po­lice dis­trict.

Cur­rently, how­ever, the fund­ing for SOTO is in limbo and has been such since Oc­to­ber 2016. There are plenty of spon­sors how­ever the in­ter­nal po­lice man­age­ment and cost­ing is the prob­lem as the pro­gram has grown big­ger than ex­pected.

SOTO has the book­lets and stick­ers for the Truck Friendly pro­gram ready for the print­ers how­ever we have been wait­ing since Fe­bru­ary for the go ahead.

Cen­tral Queens­land Univer­sity me­dia stu­dents through­out Aus­tralia are cur­rently work­ing on a se­ries of short 30 sec to 1 min an­i­mated videos to pro­mote the dif­fer­ent mes­sages of the Truck Friendly pro­gram for use on so­cial me­dia, sem­i­nars, car­a­van parks and com­mer­cial tele­vi­sion. The videos are an­tic­i­pated to be com­pleted by early Oc­to­ber as part of their me­dia course. I can for­ward these once avail­able.

I have had enough of the wait­ing and re­cently ap­proached other spon­sors to as­sist with the print­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion of the pro­gram book­lets and stick­ers. Cur­rently CIL Car­a­van and Mo­torhome In­sur­ance are a spon­sor to help get Truck Friendly this far.

An email was sent to the ATA (Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion) to ask for as­sis­tance how­ever I have as yet not re­ceived a re­ply. I have had pro­duc­tive per­sonal dis­cus­sions with Car­a­van­ning Queens­land who ad­vise that they may also be in­ter­ested in as­sist­ing with new de­sign and print­ing of the book­lets and stick­ers (as­sum­ing SOTO is no longer in­volved). I will be mak­ing a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion to them to­mor­row.

Once launched, I will be writ­ing ar­ti­cles for spe­cial in­ter­est mag­a­zines, life­style tele­vi­sion pro­grams and other me­dia.

As a one-man band and do­ing this in my own time and money, with lit­tle as­sis­tance to date, I would ap­pre­ci­ate hear­ing from any po­ten­tial spon­sors to as­sist with get­ting the mes­sage out.

Ide­ally fire­side chats at car­a­van parks and free camps would be the best way of get­ting caravanners talk­ing but this costs money and time. Car­a­van­ning Queens­land can get the car­a­van parks on side to hand out book­lets and stick­ers but not all will have drinks and dis­cus­sions at 5 o’clock drinks in a ca­sual non-threat­en­ing way. Once the con­ver­sa­tion is started, as I know caravanners, all will have some in­put to the dis­cus­sion and hope­fully all will take some­thing new and ed­u­ca­tional away from the dis­cus­sion.

The pro­gram will work best when there is sup­port from both sides (truck­ing in­dus­try and car­a­van in­dus­try) so as to not be­come an­other ‘us and them’ sit­u­a­tion.

I would ap­pre­ci­ate any in­put of your read­ers and as­so­ci­ates to help get this pro­gram mes­sage out there. Any read­ers who would like a copy of Ken Wil­son’s Truck Friendly pro­gram, please email greg.bush@bauer­trader.com.au

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