Centurion has urged tourists driving north during the Australian winter to be mindful of road trains and wide loads as part of a new road safety campaign.
Feedback from the company’s drivers is that while many motorists and caravaners know the correct procedures to pass a road train, or be passed, there are always some less experienced who don’t.
A recent company survey revealed that more than 80 per cent of drivers had witnessed or experienced a close call between a road train and caravan in the past two years with 20 percent saying they had witnessed more than two.
This year Centurion will be working with regional service stations and caravan parks to raise awareness and understanding and share some tips and hints for safely sharing the roads.
According to Luke Beeston Centurion’s General Manager of HSEQ safety is the number one priority for Centurion’s drivers and this focus includes the welfare of other road users.
“We understand that cars, caravans and road trains all have to share the roads and we want everyone to arrive at their destination without incident,” Mr Beeston said.
“Passing a road train can be an intimidating experience for motorists and caravaners, but it can also be stressful for the truck driver.
“The key is for everyone to be educated as to safe behaviours. That way the risk of an incident and injury can be averted.”
Mr Beeston said Centurion is distributing more than 2500 cards through regional service stations and caravan parks to help tourists and inexperienced tourers understand what to expect and what they should do when overtaking or being overtaken by a road train.
Here are Centurion’s top tips to help motorists and caravanners when passing a road train.
When overtaking a road train:
- Keep your lights on so you can be clearly seen, especially in dusty or overcast conditions.
- Be patient. Passing a road train can take as long as 60 seconds. Make sure you have maximum visibility and nothing is coming in the other direction.
- Position your vehicle so you can see any oncoming traffic and so the road train driver can see you.
- If you want to pass, keep your right hand blinker on to let the truckie know.
- Use your UHF radio to call through on Channel 40. Identify the truck and the direction and ask if it is clear to pass.
- When it’s clear accelerate at a safe and consistent speed and pass.
- Be aware of your speed when you’ve completed your overtaking manoeuvre. Road trains need plenty of room to come to a stop.
- Be aware of everyone around you and remember it’s always good to acknowledge when people do the right things with a wave and a smile.
When being overtaken:
- If you’re travelling close together with other caravans leave at least 100 metres between you and the caravan in front. Truck drivers need room to pull in after their overtaking manoeuvre.
- If you are about to be overtaken by a road train maintain a consistent speed, don’t break or slowdown, and definitely don’t speed up.
- Road trains can be over 50 metres so let the driver know when he can pull in after his overtaking manoeuvre with a flash of your headlights.
- It’s about everyone doing the right thing on our roads. By understanding what to do, being patient and being courteous we’ll all arrive at our destination safely.
“At Centurion, a strong safety culture is at the centre of what we do and embedded in to our driver’s daily behaviour.
“This behaviour includes driving to conditions, showing patience and being courteous. But that is only part of the prevention of incidents.
“By raising awareness among the public we want other road users to understand the hazards and demonstrate the same safe practices to ensure we all arrive at our destination safely,” said Mr Beeston