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Top 5 tips for motorists when passing a road train

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Top 5 tips to help motorists and caravaners when passing a road train

WA’s largest privately owned and operated Transport and Logistics company Centurion has urged Grey Nomads heading north for the Western Australian winter to be wary of road trains and to know the correct procedures for how to overtake them.

Centurion operates approximately one in four road trains on some key strategic routes from Perth to the north and north-west of the State.

Feedback from Centurion’s network of drivers in the past has been that while many motorists and caravaners know the correct procedures to pass there are always some less experienced who don’t.

And with many road trains longer than 50 meters, passing them, or being passed, when towing a caravan or even just in a car, can be a challenge and the consequences of not driving safely can be catastrophic.

According to Justin Cardaci Executive General Manager of Centurion Transport, safety is the number one priority for his drivers.

“We understand that cars, caravans and road trains all have to share the roads and we want everyone to arrive at their destination safely,” Mr Cardaci said.

“Passing a road train can be an intimidating experience for motorists and caravaners, but it can also be nerve-wracking for the truck driver.

“The key is for everyone to be on the same wavelength. That way the risk of an incident and injury can be averted.”

Here are Centurion’s top 5 tips to help motorists and caravaners when passing a road train.

Overtaking a road train:

Lights: keep your lights on so your car / caravan can be clearly seen especially if it’s dusty or overcast conditions.

Patience: Passing a 50 meter road train can take as much as 60 seconds so be patient and pick the right time. Make sure that there’s nothing coming in the other direction and you have maximum visibility of the road ahead.

Positioning: If you are going to overtake a road train you’ll need to give yourself plenty of space. Position your vehicle so you can see any oncoming traffic and so the road train driver can see you. If you’re too close you won’t be able to see oncoming traffic.

Indicate: If you want to pass, keep your right hand blinker on to let the truckie know.

Communicate: If you have a UHF radio then radio through on Channel 40. Identify the truck and the direction they are heading and general location – e.g. Caravan calling Centurion truck northbound on Great Northern Highway north of Newman, and ask if it is clear to pass.

Pass: When everything is clear accelerate at a safe and consistent speed and pass. And remember it’s always good to acknowledge when people do the right things with a wave and a smile.

Centurions Top 3 Tips for motorists / caravaners being over taken by a road train:

Speed: 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. The driver will time their pass based on your speed so keeping it steady will ensure they can pass safely.

Signal: Remember road trains can be longer than 50 meters making it difficult for them to judge when they are clear of your vehicle after overtaking. Let the road train know when they can pull in after the manoeuvre with a flash of your headlights. It’s a simple courtesy and will help everyone get along on their long journey

“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,” said Mr Cardaci.

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