Apparently, according to A Current Affair on Channel Nine, we are being terrorised by texting truckies. They are a major menace to the health and wellbeing of Australian society. What did the trucking industry ever do to the producers of this, so-called, news program which has made them so vindictive towards trucking folk?
Perhaps they don’t have an issue with road transport, perhaps it’s just lazy journalism. Send a cameraman out for a couple of hours to stand on a motorway bridge and film truckies. They are bound to do something wrong and then we can build a report about it.
Apparently, all of these ’50 tonne’ trucks are ‘hurtling’ down our motorways endangering everyone else’s lives. Are the cars, which are also on the motorway and overtaking the trucks, also ‘hurtling’ down the road? Do they not endanger other peoples’ lives?
They identify truck drivers who, wrongly, very wrongly, use their mobile while driving as being irresponsible and dangerous. There is no mention of car drivers using their mobile phones while driving, no mention of this being a major problem for road safety.
Of course, as truck drivers, we see what’s going on in cars all of the time, as we look down from the taller truck cab. We can see the ridiculous risks these car drivers are taking with themselves and other road users. No mention of that here.
The vision shows a senior policeman commenting on the video as he is being shown footage by the ACA crew and, rightly, he criticises truck drivers for the highly dangerous behaviour they are indulging in. He has seen the footage and he calls for truck drivers to stop using mobiles while driving.
It would be interesting to have a look at more of the footage and see if he made any other comments, which may have ended up on the cutting room floor. I suspect the next sentence, which we will never see, would go along the lines of, ‘This kind of behaviour is also a major issue among car drivers’.
No criticism of car drivers on ACA, unthinkable. No reference to the crash statistics either, the stat which tell us 82 per cent of crashes involving a truck are caused by the other vehicle, if one is involved. That’s a lot of crashes, in which truckie texting, definitely wasn’t the cause.
This is yet another symptom of the combination of issues which make trucks and truckies so easy to pick on. The industry is marginalised and unrecognised by the general public. There is no strong voice out there, which fights to protect the industry’s reputation. Those representing trucks and trucking are disunited and go largely unheard outside of industry circles.
Add into this the kind of cynical story telling indulged in by amoral organisations like these TV stations. This is a form of bullying. The presenters know those being demonised are not going to fight back, they are too busy delivering all of the goods the TV presenters expect to find on the shelves when they go shopping. They are also well used to being used, abused and ignored by the rest of society.