Oversize frustration and danger
Drivers facing fines for ignoring oversized load warnings
EXPERIENCED LOCAL and interstate pilot driver Christine Thiel says motorists, as well as some truck drivers, are neglecting to give way to over-dimensional loads.
Thiel says failing to comply with police escort directions, when confronted by an oversize load, is an offence which can incur considerable fines.
“Truck drivers and other motorists who ignore police and escort instructions place themselves and others at risk of a tragic incident,” she says. “Fortunately it is the minority of truck drivers travelling in the opposite direction toward the oversize load, which are causing the concern.
“Generally most motorists are very considerate and comply with instructions, to ensure the safe passage of the convoy.”
Thiel, based in South Australia, says pilot vehicle drivers warn traffic of the approaching oversize load and do all they can to ensure the road ahead is clear to make a safe way for the large load. They also do all they can to convince the road train drivers and other motorists to slow down and move over, to ensure the safety of all vehicles in the vicinity of the movement.
“There are many movements every week out of Port Adelaide to Silverton wind farm. As many as six long, large loads travel the Horrocks and Barrier Highways every day,” Thiel continues.
“Ignoring the pilot driver’s warning, and failing to comply with police instructions, is an offence and can incur a fine of more than $600.”
Thiel is aware that the South Australian and New South Wales police officers escorting these convoys are intent on taking action and imposing infringement notices when these incidents occur.
“There are hundreds of oversize movements all across Australia every day,” she says. “These loads can vary from 3.5 metres to more than eight metres. The loads can be wide, high, long and heavy.
“Everyone involved in the moves have every intention of safely returning home to their families.”
According to Thiel, pilot drivers are saying it’s disappointing when they are asked by truck drivers about the size of the load.
“It means their radio has been turned down and they haven’t heard any of the calls by the approaching convoy,” Thiel says.
“Using the UHF radio when in the vicinity of oversize loads, can help the drivers determine the location and dimension of the approaching load. The drivers need to take full responsibility for their actions, including giving way to oversize loads.”
Pilot escorts are becoming frustrated with motorists ignoring over-dimensional load warnings