Truckie de­serves thanks from road users: top cop

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

SIL­VERDALE Sand and Soil owner Domenic Leuzzi couldn’t be prouder of his driver, Bren­dan Gil­bert, who helped save a mo­tor­cy­clist’s life af­ter he fell off a mo­tor­bike on the busy M4.

“(I’m) very proud of what he did, we gave him a big pat on the back. Not just him but the oth­ers who helped too,” Domenic said.

But not ev­ery­one was so pos­i­tive in talk­ing about the driver’s ac­tions, with peo­ple on so­cial me­dia, who didn’t have all the facts and as­sumed the worst, crit­i­cis­ing Bren­dan.

“We got phone call say­ing our truck hit a mo­tor­cy­cle and then had to ex­plain no, that he pulled up to help,” Domenic said.

He said his son jumped on so­cial me­dia, de­fend­ing Bren­dan and tried to get the facts out.

“(I’m) just an­noyed about it and I wish peo­ple and the me­dia would get their facts right be­fore judg­ing and putting com­ments out there, it doesn’t give the com­pany or the driver any jus­tice,” he said.

“They think it’s al­ways the truck’s fault, no mat­ter what hap­pens.

“Un­for­tu­nately a hand­ful of cow­boys that make it hard for the good guys who try to do the right thing.

“It’s been like this for many years and I don’t know how to ed­u­cate peo­ple on how to un­der­stand.

“Maybe it’s just spread­ing the good news like this and peo­ple start to re­alise and get the facts right be­fore they judge, that might help the truck in­dus­try.”

New South Wales Traf­fic and High­way Pa­trol Com­mand Chief In­spec­tor Phillip Brooks said the in­ci­dent was a great ex­am­ple of the long-held view that truck driv­ers were on the front line of road safety.

“Given their ad­vanced road skills in terms of how they drive, op­er­ate and main­tain their trucks and trail­ers, they are lit­er­ally the pi­lots of the high­way,” he said.

“In this case, the truck driver wit­nessed the event, as­sisted oth­ers in call­ing emer­gency ser­vices, ren­der­ing first aid, us­ing his ve­hi­cle as a bar­rier to pro­tect those at the road­side.

“The ac­tions of this driver are highly com­mend­able, and he de­serves the thanks of not only those di­rectly in­volved but all road users.”

Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ben Maguire said so of­ten truck driv­ers were por­trayed neg­a­tively and un­nec­es­sar­ily blamed for road crashes, how­ever driv­ers were of­ten on the scene when tragedies oc­curred

“This is why the ATA cel­e­brates the out­stand­ing ac­tions of pro­fes­sional driv­ers with ac­co­lades like the Bridge­stone Bandag High­way Guardian Award, which recog­nises the un­sung he­roes on our roads,” he said.

❝ The ac­tions of this driver are com­mend­able, and he de­serves the thanks of ... all road users.

— Phillip Brooks

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