B-Doubles too dangerous for the Blue Mountains

 Blue Mountains communities are rightly frightened of these killer B-Double cowboys hurtling along the Great Western Highway

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~ the more lanes, the faster they hurtle!

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Last week:   B-Double fuel truck driver fell asleep at the wheel through Medlow Bath
This Ron Finemore’s driver fell asleep at the wheel of this dangerous B-Double fully laden with petrol, while hurtling through Medlow Bath.
[Source: Photo by Len Ashworth, Lithgow Mercury, 20130512,
^http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/1500162/lucky-escape-for-truck-driver/?cs=12]
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His job is currently advertised:  ^http://www.ronfinemoretransport.com.au/career-opportunities  [>Read More.pdf ]

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May 2013:  B-Double Driver Falls Asleep

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<<A fully-laden double fuel tanker overturned in a short, straight, three-laned section of the highway between Katoomba and Medlow Bath in the early hours of Sunday, May 12.

The giant rig owned by Orange-based Ron Finemores Transport was being driven west when it veered onto the road shoulder and overturned down an embankment, coming to rest with the twin tankers upside down.

An ambulance spokesman said the driver, a 34-year-old Millthorpe man, was able to free himself from his wrecked cabin and clambered back to the roadway where one of the first on the scene was an off-duty paramedic.   He was taken to Katoomba Hospital and treated for minor facial injuries.

Driver Fatigue is suspected as a possible cause of the smash.>>

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[Source:  ‘Lucky escape for truck driver’, 20130515, by Len Ashworth, editor The Lithgow Mercury newspaper, ^http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/1500162/lucky-escape-for-truck-driver/?cs=12]

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[Ed: So are Finemore’s drivers paid by the hour or by completed trip – where the more trips and the faster they hurtle along, the cheaper it is for the trucking corporation?  Are there any unions left to represent truck drivers’ occupational health and safety on The Road as a Workplace?

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On The Road as a Workplace, the New South Wales Government provides no truck rest stop along the entire length of the Great Western Highway between Orange and Sydney (255 km) in either direction to properly cater for heavy vehicle driver fatigue. 

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The token parking bay at Faulconbridge westbound through the Blue Mountains is a substandard joke, with the only facilities being two rubbish bins.   The westbound shoulder at Mount Victoria opposite the Caltex Service Station for trucker cabin sleeping is a disgraceful defacto emergency stopover and only inflicts noise pollution to nearby locals 24/7. 

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Overpaid NSW Transport urban bureaucrats Peter Duncan, Les Wielinga, Roads Minister Duncan Gay, and millionnaire magnate Ron Finemore need to do a few nights truck cabin kip there (this time of year) and then directly turn up for work the next day.  At the same time, these same NSW Government urban bureaucrats justify billions to widen the highway to four lanes to facilitate more corporate truck freight – as if an urban fatigue free route.

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Ron Finemore Transport is one of the corporate trucking lobbyists pushing for more and bigger trucks along the Great Western Highway.  In 2012 the company opened a new $9 million facility in Orange along the highway to house its 120 B-Double truck drivers and fleet of 50 B-Doubles. 

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Selfish trucking magnates like Finemore divert New South Wales Government from investing in freight rail services and infrastructure.  They perpetuate the dangerous B-Double Menace that is increasingly killing and maiming ordinary users of our regional highways and a deadly social problem avoided by governments around Australia.]

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[Source:  ‘Finemore opens $9 million facility in regional NSW’, 20121012, ^http://ichainnel.com/en/news/361889_0ikxd5.html]

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May 2013:  Truck kills a Woman in her Car

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Different head-on collision, but similar consequence
[Source:  Photo by Richard Polden, Perth Now
^http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/motorist-trapped-after-car-truck-head-on-in-bullsbrook/story-e6frg13u-1226111010848]

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<<A woman has died after a crash between a truck and car today (Thursday) at Luddenham in Sydney’s west, police say. Police and other emergency services attended the collision on The Northern Road, near Littlefields Rd, about 10am.  A brief will be prepared for the Coroner.

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Meanwhile, a 44-year-old man has been injured after a multiple-vehicle crash in Sydney’s west this morning.  About 5:05am, two semi-trailers, A Toyota Hilux utility and a Ford sedan at the intersection of the Great Western Highway and Doonside Rd at Arndell Park.  Emergency services personnel took about 30 minutes to remove the utility driver from the vehicle.  He is being treated in Westmead Hospital for chest and arm injuries.>>

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[Source:  ‘Woman dies in crash involving truck’, 20130515, Cowra Community News,  ^http://cowracommunitynews.com/viewnews.php?newsid=3650&id=4]

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May 2013:  Truck Drivers do Hit and Run

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<<A B-Double truck travelling in lane three on the M4 Motorway near St Clair (Sydney’s west) has changed lanes and moved into the path of a utility this morning (Sunday).

The B-Double struck the car and the car then flipped over and ended on its roof, killing the car driver.  The driver of the B-Double truck failed to stop and continued travelling west along the M4.

[Ed: … I own the road but I saw nuuthing!]

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<<Meanwhile, a 32-year-old male pedestrian has suffered a serious leg fracture when he was struck by a truck in another hit-and-run near Newcastle last night (Saturday).

Police say the man was walking north in the breakdown lane of the Pacific Highway at Tomago, where three lanes merge into two, when he was hit by a truck at a point past the northern end of Hexham Bridge about 6:45pm.   The man was thrown on to the highway’s grass shoulder, while the truck did not stop!

The injured man managed to crawl back to the edge of the road and hail a passing motorist for help, police say.  He was treated at the scene and taken to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital suffering a serious lower leg fracture.   The Newcastle Crash Investigation Unit is looking into the crash and making attempts to track down the truck involved.>>

[Ed: … I own the road but I saw nuuthing!]

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May 2013:  B-Double hangs off Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge

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B-Doubles Out of Control

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<<The driver plunged from the cabin of his vehicle after a road crash left the truck’s cabin dangling off Melbourne’s Bolte Bridge just after 6.30am today (17th May, 2013).

There is traffic chaos on a Melbourne freeway where a truck has crashed and been left dangling precariously over the side.  The truck driver was taken to Royal Melbourne Hospital and is in a critical condition.  The driver of the other car was also taken to hospital in an unknown condition.

The incident has caused chaos on the Tullamarine Freeway, which is now closed to inbound traffic at Flemington Road.  City-bound traffic on the Tullamarine Freeway remains at a standstill.

The road will likely be closed until later today and transport authority VicRoads has advised motorists to avoid the heavily-congested area.  Crews will work to remove the truck, which is hanging halfway over the bridge, and assess damage to the road before it is reopened to motorists.>>

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[Source:  ‘Man falls from truck dangling off bridge’, 20130517, by Sylvia Varnham O’Regan, Nine News (TV), ^http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/05/17/07/16/truck-hanging-from-bridge-after-freeway-crash]

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May 2013:   Woman dies in crash involving truck

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<<A woman has died after a crash between a truck and car today (Thursday) at Luddenham in Sydney’s west, police say.  Police and other emergency services attended the collision on The Northern Road, near Littlefields Rd, about 10am.   A brief will be prepared for the Coroner.

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Meanwhile, a 44-year-old man has been injured after a multiple-vehicle crash in Sydney’s west this morning.

About 5:05am, two semi-trailers, A Toyota Hilux utility and a Ford sedan at the intersection of the Great Western Highway and Doonside Rd at Arndell Park.

Emergency services personnel took about 30 minutes to remove the utility driver from the vehicle.  He is being treated in Westmead Hospital for chest and arm injuries.  No one else was injured, police say.>>

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[Source:  ‘Woman dies in crash involving truck’, 20130515, Cowra News, NSW, ^http://cowracommunitynews.com/viewnews.php?newsid=3650&id=4]

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Dec 2010:   Ballina, NSW – a multiple vehicle crash caused by a truck over the centre line
[Source:  ^http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/trucks-crash-bangalow-road/712289/]

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Apr 2013:  Truck catches Fire

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<<A truck driver had a lucky escape after his semi-trailer caught fire in Victoria’s north.  The truck carrying carpet was travelling on the Hume Highway near Wallan when the blaze began at 2pm.   It is understood the driver fled the cabin of the truck as soon as he noticed the flames.

Up to 13 fire crews have been on scene battling the big blaze for hours.  Police will investigate the cause of the fire as soon as it has been brought under control.

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[Source:  ‘Truck fire causes Hume Highway delays near Wallan’, 20130421, by Alex White, Herald Sun (Victoria), ^http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/truck-fire-causes-hume-highway-delays-near-wallan/story-e6frf7kx-1226625363194]

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Apr 2013:  Plastics truck explodes on highway

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Truck explodes on Hume Freeway near Berrima

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<<A driver escaped injury after a truck loaded with plastics exploded on a highway south-west of Sydney early this morning.

A truck loaded with wheelie bins has been engulfed in fire on a highway south-west of Sydney.  The truck caught fire just (around midnight) today on the Hume Highway, south of Berrima.

A spokesperson for the NSW Rural Fire Service told ninemsn the trailer was filled with 800 domestic garbage bins.  Molten plastic spread across the southbound lanes of the highway.

It took six fire trucks to extinguish the blaze which caused “extensive” damage to the trailer.>>

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[Source:  ‘Plastics truck explodes on highway’, 20130501, by Sophie Cousins, Nine News (TV), ^http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/2013/05/01/08/17/plastics-truck-explodes-on-highway]

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Apr 2013:  Young man killed in horror head-on with B-Double

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Nothing Left

Pacific Highway near Ulmarra 

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<<Police confirmed a man aged in his 20s died after the southbound Mazda 929 he was driving was involved in a head-on with a B-Double truck.  The crash happened 3km north of the town about 3.15am.

Witnesses told police after the initial impact the truck swerved off the highway, rolled onto its side into a paddock and burst into flames.  Firefighters who battled the blaze said the driver had a lucky escape.   Fire crews said they were met by an inferno when they arrived on scene with flames rising as high as 10 to 20 metres above the wreckage.

The accident happened on a notorious Pacific Highway section…>>

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[Source:  ‘Young man killed in horror head-on with b-double’, 20130423, Coffs Coast Advocate newspaper, ^http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/horror-head-on-crash-kills-man/1841067/]

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Apr 2013:   Speeding B-Double crashes and cattle killed, others shot

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B-Double Cattle Truck crash kills livestock, injured cattle are shot
Photo by Moree Champion

 

<<There was yet another truck roll on the Garah/Mungindi Road.

Dozens of cattle have been killed in a B-Double accident in north-west NSW.  The truck rolled on a bend on the outskirts of Garah near Moree just after seven this morning.

Moree Plains Council ranger Jock Jones says locals are working together to save what cattle they can, and round up those that got away.

“We’ve used grinders to open the tray up. We’ve got a front end loader that’s pulling the truck apart,” he said.  “It’s a hideous job now. Pulling them out is very sad. I’ve had to shoot a lot but we are saving a lot.  “Most of them have got out and run off.”

There were about 60 cattle on board.  It’s thought the cattle had come from Longreach in Queensland.

The 46-year-old driver of the truck was thrown clear on impact.  He was treated by paramedics for facial injuries and cuts to his arms, back and legs. He was taken to Moree hospital in a stable condition.>>

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Ed:  Previously on the same stretch of road:   ‘Sheep killed in truck rollover near Garah’, 22nd February 2010…<<Dozens of sheep died and others were put down after a B-Double truck rolled over near Garah yesterday (Sunday).>>

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[Sources:  ‘Cattle euthanased after B-double crash’, 20130408, Northern Daily Leadernewspaper, ^http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/1417892/cattle-euthanased-after-b-double-crash/, and ‘Truck crash kills dozens of cattle’, 20130408, by Lisa Herbert, ABC Rural, ^http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201304/s3732059.htm]

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Mar 2013:  Two Escape Sydney Truck Fire

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Truck Crash at the corner of Roger St and Old Pittwater Rd Brookvale, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
[Photo by Cameron Mitch, The Sunday Telegraph]

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<<Two people have escaped with minor injuries after the truck they were travelling in rolled over and caught on fire in Sydney’s north.   The semi-trailer truck, which was carrying sand, rolled over about 8am on Old Pittwater Road in Brookvale, Fire and Rescue NSW said on Saturday.

“Two people escaped from the truck’s cabin before it caught fire,” Superintendent Tom Cooper told AAP.  “The fire caused one of the truck’s 400 litre tanks of diesel to rupture and the diesel spilled into a storm water drain.”

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[Source:  ‘Two escape north Sydney truck fire’, 20130309, by AAP, Daily Telegraph newspaper, ^http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/two-escape-north-sydney-truck-fire/story-e6freuy9-1226593712677]
 

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Mar 2013:  Two killed after B-Double and car collide head-on

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No chance at Ki Ki, South Australia
Picture: First On Scene Media Source: adelaidenow

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<<..In a shocking start to the Easter holidays, two people, both aged 22, believed to be Asian nationals living in Adelaide, died after the rental car they were driving crossed to the wrong side of the road and slammed into a B-Double truck on the Dukes Highway near Ki Ki (South Australia), just before 3am.

..Royal Automobile Association public affairs general manager Penny Gale said this stretch of highway accounted for a third of all the state’s road fatalities.

..Major Crash Investigation Section officer-in-charge Detective Inspector Peter Duance said it was a “tragedy” and he warned of the dangers of fatigue when driving in the early hours of the morning.   “Sometimes, it’s a good idea to travel in the early hours because there is less traffic on the road but people need to remember to take appropriate rest breaks and share the driving if possible,” he said yesterday.

The deaths take the state’s road toll to 31 compared with 25 this time last year.

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[Source:  ‘Two killed after B-double and car collide head-on along Dukes Highway’,  20130329, by David Nankervis, The Advertiser newspaper,  ^http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/two-killed-after-b-double-and-car-collide-head-on-along-dukes-highway/story-e6frea83-1226608881287]

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Mar 2013:  B-Double carrying fertiliser rollover near Hummocks, SA

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<<Nobody was injured when a B-Double carrying fertiliser rolled onto its side on the Copper Coast Highway last Tuesday, March 19.   Police were called to the accident about 2pm and put traffic restrictions in place which lasted until the scene was cleared six hours later.  The crash happened just south of the Hummocks.

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[Source:  ‘Police News… B-double rollover near Hummocks’, 20130326, Yorke Peninsula Country Times, South Australia, ^http://www.ypct.com.au/index.php/news/91-news2/1705-police-news-b-double-rollover-near-hummocks]

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Mar 2013:   “wobbling trailer” or Speed causes B-Double Rollover?

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B-Double rollover on the Cunningham Hwy at Maryvale

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<<The B-Double rollover on the Cunningham Hwy at Maryvale (north east of Warwick, south-eastern Queensland) on Saturday morning.   One lane of the Cunningham Hwy was blocked at Maryvale from 6am Saturday until mid-afternoon after a B-Double rolled over.   The truck was carrying general freight, including small motors and bags of grain.

A Warwick police spokesman said it was believed the rear trailer started to wobble which resulted in the whole vehicle turning over on one lane of the highway…Police said there was extensive damage to the prime mover.

There was also a single vehicle rollover at Pyramid’s Rd, Stanthorpe, at 12.45pm Saturday.  No one was injured.

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[Source:  ‘B-double Rollover causes highway traffic delays’, 20130318, ^http://www.warwickdailynews.com.au/news/b-double-rollover-causes-highway-traffic-delays/1795182/]

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Feb 2013: Truck fire in Sydney Harbour Tunnel

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<<Motorists are experiencing extensive peak hour delays following a truck fire in the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. The fire started in the truck’s battery compartment, but the cause is still to be determined.

Traffic is banked up at both ends of the tunnel after a freightliner in the southbound lane caught on fire just after 4pm on Wednesday, activating a fire alarm and causing the closure of the tunnel.

A Transport Management Centre spokeswoman says motorists in the area are being diverted onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but there are extensive delays for northbound and southbound traffic.  Emergency services are on site, and there is no forecast for when the tunnel will reopen.>>

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[Source:  ‘Truck fire closes Sydney Harbour Tunnel’, 20130220, by AAP, ^http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/truck-fire-closes-sydney-harbour-tunnel/story-e6frfku9-1226582150849]

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Oct 2012:  Multiple truck crash on Sydney’s M4

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A crash on the M4 freeway closed both lanes of traffic
[Source:  Picture by Gregg Porteous, The Daily Telegraph]

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<<A multi-vehicle pile up on the M4 has closed the motorway in both directions.  At least five vehicles, including two trucks collided near the intersection with Silverwater Rd about 1.15pm.  …The accident left one ute on its roof, while two trucks hit the concrete median barrier pushing sections into the path of oncoming traffic.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s traffic woes have worsened with a broken down truck closing down the westbound tunnel of the M5 East.  The tunnel was shut shortly after 2pm, with tow trucks enroute to clear the vehicle.   But to make matters worse the usual detour route around the tunnel is also shut in both directions after a truck brought down powerlines on Stoney Creek Rd near the intersection of Mimosa St, Bexley.

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[Source:  ‘Major accident on M4 near Silverwater Road causes traffic delays’, 20121011, by Henry Budd, The Daily Telegraph newspaper, ^http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/major-accident-on-m4-near-silverwater-road-causes-traffic-delays/story-fnb5f12x-1226493579913]

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April 2012:   Truck on Fire on Hume Highway

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Truck on Fire on Hume Highway, near Yerrinbool
Photo by Petrina Price

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<<There are major delays for motorists on the Hume Hwy near Yerrinbool after a truck burst into flames this morning… just after 9.40am near Remembrance Drive.One of two southbound lanes is closed and traffic is queued for about 4.5km.  Motorists are advised to avoid the area if possible.>>

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[Source:  ‘Yerrinbool: Hume Hwy delays after truck fire’, 20120412, Illawarra Mercury newspaper, ^http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/112596/yerrinbool-hume-hwy-delays-after-truck-fire/]

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Dec 2011:   Rollover of B-Double carting wool

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B-Double Rolled on Ballimore Highway near Dubbo

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<<There was a B-Double truck rollover east of Ballimore on the Golden Highway. The truck was carrying a full load of wool.>>

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[Source:  ‘Ballimore B-Double rollover’, 20111210, Win News, ^http://www.orana.rfs.nsw.gov.au/file_system/attachments/Orana/Attachment_20111210_6B7E3C94.wmv]

 

 

Sep 2010:  Truck collision closes Hume Highway 

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Fire erupted in the trailers of the two trucks after they crashed on the Hume Highway near Yass
[Photo by ABC News]

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<<Northbound lanes of the Hume Highway north of Canberra remain closed after a fiery crash between two trucks.  Fire erupted in the trailers of the vehicles after they collided about 10 kilometres from Yass just after 4:00am.

One of the truck drivers aged in his 50s suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital.  Firefighters had difficulty extinguishing a blaze in the paper cargo of one of the trucks.>>

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[Source:  ‘Truck collision closes Hume Highway’, 20100924, ABC News, ^http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/24/3020651.htm?site=canberra]

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Mar 2009:   B-Double drags pedestrian 100 metres in hit-run

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Police gather evidence after a pedestrian was killed in a hit-run in Reservoir (Melbourne)

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<<Police say a female pedestrian was dragged 100 metres down the road in a fatal hit-and-run at Reservoir, in Melbourne’s north.

Police are questioning a 45-year-old man about the woman’s death, at the intersection of High Street and Broadhurst Avenue, about 10:30pm yesterday.  The man was arrested at Epping early this morning.

Police say the B-Double prime mover and trailer stopped briefly after the collision, then took off.  Sergeant Brendan Butland says the woman died at the scene.

“What’s occurred is tragic,” he said.  “A lady was obviously standing on the street corner when the truck’s turned left. She’s been struck by the truck and has been dragged a hundred metres or so down the road, and it’s just tragic.”

The B-Double is now under police guard.>>

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[Source:  ‘B-double drags pedestrian 100 metres in hit-run’, 20090311, ^http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-03-11/b-double-drags-pedestrian-100-metres-in-hit-run/1614926]

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Further Reading:

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[1]    >Great Western Highway set to be a Trucking F3

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[2]  >Threats from Roadmaking – Articles

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Footnote

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McColl’s Milk Tanker slams at speed into a Parramatta Road cafe on the corner of Croydon Road, Croydon

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We didn’t have to wait long.  Close to midnight last night, an out-of-control fully-laden milk tanker heading into Sydney along Parramatta Road, crossed over the centre concrete medium stip and slammed into a cafe, where residents were sleeping above.  The prime mover then caught fire as it was wedged inside the cafe.

Milk Truck approach on eastbound side of Parramatta Road toward the Croydon Road intersection.   Looking east along Parramatta Road toward the Croydon Road cafe (circled)
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More lanes and more trucks are making our highways more dangerous.
[Image construct via Google Maps, before the crash]

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The driver was probably on a linehaul service from Central West New South Wales delivering a milk load to Parmalat’s manufacturing plant at Lidcombe.  The driver died on impact. Did he fall asleep like the Finemore’s driver driving through Medlow Bath around midnight on Sunday 12 May?  (see lead post above).

It is yet another serious truck crash along the Great Western Highway corridor involving a trucking company based in Orange.  In this case, McColl’s Milk Transport operates out of Orange at 8 Barret Street.

Did the 63 year old driver have a heart attack or stroke?  How fit are these truck drivers?  How often are they medically tested to operate such killing machines on our highways?

The RTA-come-RMS lets anyone get a truck licence these days.  It Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment programme is a joke.

The out of control truck hurtling on the wrong side of a six-laned Parramatta Road could have caused a head-on collision and killed many others, including the owners of the cafe.  As it was, the main Sydney arterial Parramatta Road was closed in both directions for hours causing major delays during the busy Friday morning peak.

A year ago, a McColl’s B-Double milk truck collided with a Countrylink bus along on the Gwyder Highway halfway between Grafton and Glen Innes.   It was about 3:30 pm, also on a Friday, on 10th February 2012.   The Countrylink bus driver was killed and his passengers received minor injuries..

B-Double McColl’s milk truck over the double lines kills Countrylink bus driver on the Gwyder Highway in February 2012.
[Source:  Photo by Debrah Novak, The Daily Examiner, from article ‘Fatal crash on Gwydir’, 20120210, Coffs Coast Advocate, ^http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/fatal-bus-and-truck-accident/1267856/]
 

These B-Doubles are too big and too dangerous

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[Sources:  ‘Man dies in Croydon milk truck crash’, 20130524, ^http://www.skynews.com.au/national/article.aspx?id=874647]; and ‘Fatal crash on Gwydir’, 20120210, Coffs Coast Advocate, ^http://www.coffscoastadvocate.com.au/news/fatal-bus-and-truck-accident/1267856/]

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The Trucking Menace is out of control!

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