Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fatal system failure

Back to my theme of getting trucks off our roads, because there are two stories being covered in the media today.

One is about yet more deaths by truck. A young woman's car had broken down on the Hume Highway, a tow truck driver was helping her and both were killed when a B-double hit them.

Reports are saying that the B-double driver didn't see them until it was too late, tried to swerve but hit them.

Didn't see them!? Why not? Sitting way up high in the cab of a large truck?

We need some serious questioning of the driver and any witnesses to get to the bottom of that.

The other story is that Vincent George, the B-double driver who crushed a Ford Mondeo  killing the three occupants, was in court for another driving offence and his appalling driving record came to light.  He's been convicted of seventeen offences.

He's been caught speeding ten often he's endangered other road users by speeding in his monster truck without being caught we can only guess at.

He's been found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

He's been found guilty of negligent driving.

And he's had his licence suspended five times.

Here's what he did on the Hume Highway. Yes, he's on the wrong side of the road, which is a dual-carriageway - you can just see the carriageway he should have been on in the top right corner.

Photo Ten News/Daily Telegraph

He was obviously a danger to other road users and he shouldn't have been allowed to drive anything, let alone B-doubles.

How did the system fail so disastrously and allow him to keep on driving?
And what about his employer, Lennons transport,  who must have known his driving record? Why did they employ him to drive B-doubles?
Their response to the  Daily Telegraph  is no surprise: "Contacted yesterday to ask why George was allowed to continue driving trucks despite his bad record, Lennons Transport did not return calls."
Three innocent people dead because a rogue driver was not taken off the road.
Not good enough, is it. It needs an investigation to find why and who, followed by changes to the system and for those responsible to be held accountable.

By the way, if you're not sure about the size and weight of a B-double, the photograph gives an indication.


Duffy said...

I come from a family of cops. More than one of them has told me they've been rear ended while they had someone pulled over and had their emergency lights on.

Bush Mechanic said...

2010 - Four cyclists stood little chance when the loaded semi-trailer allegedly drifted into a breakdown lane on the M4 yesterday, killing one man

A Mother killed using mobile phone in breakdown lane while her children witnessed it from the road reservation by a truck

2010 - A driver has been killed in a crash in a breakdown lane on the M7 motorway in Sydney's north-west.
The crash between a semi-trailer and a car happened

The breakdown lane should be a safe haven, but with doped up truck drivers, I'm going to sit on the other side of the fence if I break down.