LJ, 15 March 2012.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Every day, I drive close to 200km along the Hume Highway, for work reasons; I teach English in south-west Sydney and live in the Southern Highlands. Every day, I shoot past flowers and a yellow heart with the name Sarah emblazoned on it. This memorial is by a southbound lane, between Mittagong and Berrima. Sarah Frazer, 23, died there last month. She was off to Wagga Wagga, to live and study. She and a 40 year old towie from Mittagong, Geoff Clark, were killed instantly when a wayward truck struck them. He was my age. The driver of the truck was from Marulan. He's just been charged with their deaths. Every day, I drive past the site at Menangle where another truck driver, this time the driver of a B-double, crushed 3 people in a northbound car. This happened in January. All these tragic, tragic deaths were avoidable. The majority of our truckies are focussed, disciplined and aware of their speeds and their consciousness. Some, are going too bloody fast and falling asleep at the wheel. Others have devices in their trucks which tamper with their truck's mechanics (the engine is tricked into believing it needs more fuel), so they can continually go faster than the permitted 100km/h. It's all about deadlines, pressure and money-making. This is a real problem. Our truckies have to slow down. More cops need to be policing this stretch of the Hume. And they appear to be. Every day, there is a highway patrol car at Menangle. Most days, there's another near Mittagong. Let's hope things change.