Third truck falls – drivers must pay attention: police
THE region’s police traffic chief has called on truck drivers to pay attention to driving conditions in the wake of the third truck rollover in a fortnight.
On Monday, January 13, a semi fully laden with sawdust rolled on the South Gippsland Highway, near Grassy Spur around 3pm. The driver was uninjured.
Police said the truck was heading north on the South Gippsland Highway (towards Meeniyan) and while travelling downhill and negotiating a right hand bend, drifted off the left side of the road.
The truck hit a culvert and rolled onto its left side.
The truck was slightly on the road after the accident occurred, closing the road occasionally and reducing traffic to one lane at all other times.
The position of the truck made recovery difficult and the scene was not cleared until 12.40am.
Bass Coast Highway Patrol Sergeant Jason Hullick said police are still investigating, however have ruled out most issues that may have caused the incident, including road conditions.
Police believe the three rollovers may be due to driver inattention, as well as neglecting to drive to the conditions.
“The reality is all three of these incidents could have been avoided,” Sgt Hullick said.
So far, police believe that no environmental factors caused the incidents and there are no common factors to suggest why there has been an increase in truck rollovers.
Mechanical fault and alcohol influence have also been ruled out.
Police warn all drivers to be wary of the advisory signs, be cautious on corners and drive at a comfortable speed.
“Just because the sign says 100 kilometres, doesn’t mean you have to do 100 kilometres,” Sgt Hullick said.
“Take your time, slow down and go home to your loved ones.”
Gippsland’s freight industry is taking action to boost safety on our roads.
Truck drivers and companies are keen to reduce the road toll, and have decided truck drivers will turn on their headlights during the day to stand out to other drivers.
VicRoads Road Safety coordinator Alan Pincott said everyone worked together on an education and awareness campaign for local industries to complement the Truckies Lighting Up for Safety campaign.
Truckies are being urged to pledge their support for the campaign by sending an email to [email protected]. They will automatically be sent a pledge form and a driver awareness package.
Tom Wachal of Holcim Aggregate Leongatha Transport said their drivers and contractors support turning on headlights during the day or having daytime running lights fitted on trucks.
“We can all contribute to improving road safety for the benefit of our local communities,” he said.
A cement truck rolled at Koonwarra recently and before that incident, a cattle truck overturned at Tarwin Lower.
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