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Comment by Adrian Tritschler on March 18, 2009 at 11:39am
The great aussie professional truck driver at work. I've had them pull the same stunt on me both on the bicycle and on the motorbike. They seem to have the attitude that they're the biggest thing on the road and stuff the rest of you, it only seems to come unstuck when the drive into trains.
Comment by andrew stretton on March 18, 2009 at 11:22am
Hi Rob,

I guess I didn't want to appear like I was running around the country taking vid's of errant drivers in order to extract something, in fact I didn't need to, the Manager in charge of logistics for George Weston Foods was put in charge of fully investigating the incident and after doing so, asked for my address so that and I quote, "he could send something through". Whilst I gave him the address, nothing (whatever it was supposed to be) was forthcoming and I haven't heard from him since. I didn't find this end result unusual, if companies think they can get away with things they will!, I climbed the corporate greasy pole for 25 years and have seen all the tricks. It's why I applaud what you are doing and as I said, I believe the best way to handle these things is to get out there and 'show' them

I do a lot of talks at Men's Health Nights, I am doing another one in a couple of weeks down near Mt Gambier and I am riding the bicycle down there. I usually show the vid at the end of the talk, just to remind those in the audience of what pushbike riders face. I frequently get people coming up to me afterwards with all sorts of excuses for the truck driver, like "oh, he just left his run too late". The interesting thing is that the vid goes for about 8 minutes and this incident is just 11 seconds of what is a pretty scary video, which also shows just how long this truck driver had to overtake on a dead straight road before he got to me.

I will post the other vids although they are not brilliant in quality. One is of a semi overtaking another semi and a car and the other, which is not quite as bad, is of an Australian Army Truck (one of two in convoy) that I suspect simply misjudged the power of his truck, given the time it took him to overtake.

The one I didn't get, the one where I closed my eyes because I thought that life was about to come to an abrupt end, was the straw that broke the camels back. A B Double, overtaking another B Double just prior to the exit of a bridge, which was also on a left hand bend. I quickly stopped and pulled my bike as close to the bridges concrete side wall as I could with the truck side being less than 6 inches from me as it passed. I sat down for a long while after that one just so I could stop shaking!

I am going to continue with the videos as I think they are the only way we can keep raising these issues in the public eye, so I have no doubt that you can expect a few more!

Cheers

Andrew
Comment by RobE on March 18, 2009 at 10:15am
Hi Andrerw,

sad you had to curtail your ride... perhaps it would have been better ( hindsight is a wonderful thing) to ask them to make up for the loss of donations due to this type of incident and they make a committment beyond counselling drivers...

if you think the other vids are suitable would you also post them?... I am working on some things about country driving and HGVs at the mo. and these are fine to have in the public domain as supporting evidence of incidents riders and other VRU's face everyday where driver's of HGVs are acting carlessly, and either purposefully being aggressive or just not keeping a proper lookout... heaven help us if they get to bring B-Triples and B-Doubloes out in greater numbers closer to higher trafficked roads... Sadly the effect these antics have on rural-tourusim is another major sticking point... the trucking lobby comes out and claims it is saving millions in how it handles freight in Australia, but ignores the damage it does to roads, lives and the anxiety states of all other road users, plus the damge to local economies that (now) in these days of rural industry slowdowns, rely much more on eco tourism and sustainable tourism... All freight companies should be sent a copy of the YouTube link to show their drivers and make them wake up and act responsibly before more die and they are " forced" to never overtake and stay below 80klmph on 100K roads etc and have side underrun barriers and a strict liability law ( which is being researched at the moment anyway) etc...... there are ways to bring them into line if they refuse to self regulate...

cheers
R
Comment by andrew stretton on March 17, 2009 at 7:15pm
Hi Rob,

The incident, 1 of 6 identical ones over 3 consecutive days (of which I have another 2 on video) on the Bruce Highway QLD, forced the cancellation of my tour, which was in aid of raising awareness and money for men with cancer (www.forblokessake.org)

Upon my return home, I contacted the Managing Director of George Weston Foods Aust, owners of 'Tip Top' (if you slow down the video you can see the logo on the side of the truck), Brydon's are a contractor of theirs. That was on a Saturday (PM), by Sunday AM (next day) I had received an e-mail back from him. They were quite literally panicking over the incident and were highly apologetic. I stated that I didn't want anything from them other than for them to counsel the driver and to let them know that ALL of their drivers should be made aware of the video and counseled as to the rights of bicycle riders on Australian Roads.

They agreed, but perhaps I let them off too lightly, I haven't heard another word from them since. I think that it is perhaps better to broadcast this video widely instead, that way, just maybe, drivers will start to get the message.

Cheers and thanks for your feedback.

Andrew
Comment by RobE on March 17, 2009 at 6:54pm
ouch... stupidity at its highest by a (driver no doubt considered by his peers a ) so-called " professional driver " ... I hope you have details of the truck and sent them to the operators... if not ... its another piece of how harrowing riding can be and how country roads bring out the worst in drivers especially when they have mass and momentum on their side... dead witnesses offer little... without identifying the driver there is little that can be done by Police about unsafe driving practices and overtaking into oncoming traffic, ... you are traffic, you are entitled to the lane and you have the right to press for charges to be made on several breaches of the road rules evidenced by your vid... it looks from the Vid that the truck was operateed by BRYDONS from Bundaberg,( Brydon's Transport Pty Ltd 24 Jealous Rd, Bundaberg, QLD 4670 p: (07) 4936 1175 )...if so let them know location, time and date ( they will know the vehicle and the driver in charge) and push for them to sanction the driver, your life was threatened, the driver didn't give a fig...if you had been killed what would it have meant for their PR to be dragged across the papers and show they have shocking drivers who couldnt care less about other road users... I reckon you might get some outcome from them... at least it will alert them to the fact their trucks can be videoed and shown to be acting callously, towards other road users.... YouTube is powerfull, if you know this is one of their trucks tell them they will be shamed on YouTube and ask them to make a committment they will ensure their drivers look out for touring riders and vulnerable road users who are legally entitled to use the road... time tables and freight committments are no justification for reckless driving and illegal driving...

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