Letters to the Editor need to be typed or clearly handwritten and be no more than 500 words. Letters should include name, title (e.g. owner-driver, manager) and city for publication, unless otherwise requested. Letters may be edited for clarity or space.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org