Speeding trucks to be grounded on the spot in push for tough new road safety law

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 05 Jul 2016 14:58
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
About time this was implemented across Victoria but should be across the country since almost 1 in 5 ceases now involves a heavy vehicle. 

If the government was serious about road safety it would be finding rail upgrades and mandating more freight on rail.

Speeding trucks to be grounded on the spot in push for tough new road safety law

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Yeah, impound a freezer van of prawns or a truck of livestock. It is all talk and will never happen.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yeah, impound a freezer van of prawns or a truck of livestock. It is all talk and will never happen.
YM-Mundrabilla

Sounds to me like the perfect disincentive to speed?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Yeah, impound a freezer van of prawns or a truck of livestock. It is all talk and will never happen.
YM-Mundrabilla
Common sense would see the truck able complete It's Intended journey and unload, from there It would be serenaded.

As to If the offending driver would be able to complete the remainder of the journey, would come down to a case by case basis.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think the freight forwarders should be proud to advertise that their loads travel in safe vehicles driven safely .
I reckon cancel the drivers licence if he is caught doing these speeds in heavy vehicles , then impound the vehicle and its load . The freight forwarder/customer would very soon suffer if their loads were shown to be threatening life and limb .
If the truck driver goes broke its still better than wiping out some more law abiding motorist and their family .
All heavy vehicle drivers are responsible for the condition of the vehicle and the way its driven , the authorities should enforce this accountability .
How can anyone justify operating any vehicle in an unsafe manner .
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
"Any large heavy vehicle caught driving 15km/h or more above the speed limit would be forced off the road on the spot under tough new laws proposed to take on rogue trucking operators who purposely speed to stay in business.

The proposed new laws would treat any detected speed above 115km/h as hard evidence a heavy vehicle's electronic speed limiter had been illegally tampered with. The truck would therefore be ruled as defective and instantly grounded."


So, what happened to the little 100 sign that used to adorn the rear of trucks? They seem to have disappeared over the past few years. Is the Truck Speed Limit the same as the rest now?

I do 2-3 return trips from Sydney to Melbourne down the Hume each year, and it seems to me that trucks travel at 110 like the rest, some even faster - and that's just in daylight hours, who knows what goes on in the dark.


The trouble with a lot of this is that giving the Police the power is one thing, but the Police must be groaning when a Court later takes the drivers side.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
As far as I know, there is no legislation that requires all heavy vehicles on Australian roads to be fitted with speed limiters.

Most if not all new trucks (there are still plenty of old unlimited trucks legally operating on the roads) will be fitted with electronic speed limiters from the factory, these systems are not foolproof however, they will not allow a truck to actively accelerate past the speed they are limited to (usually 100km/h, although lower speeds are becoming more common for some of the larger fleets, 90km/h is considered by some experts to be much more benficial from a fuel economy point of view, but I digress) so the vehicle will sit on that limit without going over it, until you travel down a hill. Downhill the truck will exceed the limited speed unless the driver intervenes. For instance, my truck a well maintained 3 year old Volvo, is speed limited to 100km/h, on a long sustained downhill stretch of road I have had it up to 108Km/h, despite the limiter being set at 100km/h. Not an issue when the road in question has a posted speed limit of 110km/h, but in other situations, the driver must use their own abilities to keep the truck from exceeding the posted limit.

Going down hill is never a justifiable excuse for exceeding the posted speed limit.

Regarding the proposed changes to legislation, and their accompanying penalties, the relevant authorites better damn well make sure they have all of their ducks in a line before they start taking peoples livelihoods away, because they haven't always in the past. I have no issue with dodgey operators being held to account, especially if it goes to making the roads safer for everyone else out there, but they can't afford to get it wrong.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

As far as I know, there is no legislation that requires all heavy vehicles on Australian roads to be fitted with speed limiters.

Most if not all new trucks (there are still plenty of old unlimited trucks legally operating on the roads) will be fitted with electronic speed limiters from the factory, these systems are not foolproof however, they will not allow a truck to actively accelerate past the speed they are limited to (usually 100km/h, although lower speeds are becoming more common for some of the larger fleets, 90km/h is considered by some experts to be much more benficial from a fuel economy point of view, but I digress) so the vehicle will sit on that limit without going over it, until you travel down a hill. Downhill the truck will exceed the limited speed unless the driver intervenes. For instance, my truck a well maintained 3 year old Volvo, is speed limited to 100km/h, on a long sustained downhill stretch of road I have had it up to 108Km/h, despite the limiter being set at 100km/h. Not an issue when the road in question has a posted speed limit of 110km/h, but in other situations, the driver must use their own abilities to keep the truck from exceeding the posted limit.

Going down hill is never a justifiable excuse for exceeding the posted speed limit.

Regarding the proposed changes to legislation, and their accompanying penalties, the relevant authorites better damn well make sure they have all of their ducks in a line before they start taking peoples livelihoods away, because they haven't always in the past. I have no issue with dodgey operators being held to account, especially if it goes to making the roads safer for everyone else out there, but they can't afford to get it wrong.
Gman_86

15km/hr is a long way over the speed limit.  Its a huge margin of grace compared to the tolerances given for minor speeding offences.



Simply don't speed!

I was observing a coach driver bring us back from the snow and his speed control.  It was data logging him as the driver.   Coming down a hill the bus was increasing speed and the device warned him.   He soon started to pull the speed back as he didn't want a ping on his log.  The frustrating bit was he was near the bottom of the grade where the momentum would have been an advantage on the next rise.  Hard to make a device smart enough for that.  None the less, he was speeding.  Argument stops there.

One would think that technology would allow all vehicles (cars and trucks) to go to GPS technology which would take a lot of ambiguity out of the speed argument.   Where I work in the mine all the vehicle are speed governed by GPS.   Argue all you like, rules are rules and the device lets you know if you are doing wrong and time to correct your actions.  A lot of people hate the system but in time things settle down to normal.  Consequently the maintenance of the light vehicles went down by 40% too.

I would also suggest that heavy freight also be charged for road usage using GPS depending on where you go, type/grade of road, how heavy you are and what time of day (congested cities at peak times for example).  It would be a huge political football but in reality the opposition to 'paying for what you actually use' is only created when you are currently not paying your fair contribution (runs for cover!) or are used to breaking the law.   Bring on GPS technology I say!
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I was not going to reply to this thread but here goes.................

Now I do sympathise with truck drivers particularly small operators and owner drivers, this is earning money the hardway, but all the same..........

Some random thoughts................

If one  wish's to avoid being fined DON'T SPEED, its that simple.

Road accidents cost society a really MASSIVE amount (Note) and slowing down has for a long time showed this reduces accidents and the effects accidents.

Another effect of slowing down is to reduce fuel consumption, I drive a Landcrusier Troop carrier, its fuel consumption at 85kph is 11kilometres/litre (9 litres/ 100 kilometres or 30mpg) increasing speed to 110kph reduces this by over 25 percent (Note 1). This a difference of getting only 1200 kilometres instead of 1600 kilometres out of a fill (Note 2).

It appears to be getting increasingly common for busses to be fitted with GPS tracking, Wangarrata bus line fleet is so fitted, the drivers told me if you exceed 100kph you will get hauled into the office as soon as you get back to the depot.

Note: An article in the New Scientist some time back said something well over 50 percent of the cost of the hospital system can be directly attributed to road accidents.

Note 1: This is regarded as a really excellent figure for a diesel troop carrier, the vehicle though is fitted with a good set of extractors and a 2 1/2 inch (63.5mm) exhaust system, This is well known to improve the landcrusiers deisel engine no end.

Note 2: It really will do this, the vehicle having 2 90litre fuel tanks, I can get from NE Vic to Quorn in SA on a single fill.

woodford
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
It's not just speed.
On Melbourne's Eastlink yesterday afternoon, a semi carrying both the Linfox and Woolworths brands (yes; I'm happy to name and shame - I've got him on dash cam), was travelling in lane 2 at a fraction over 100 km/h, less than two car lengths behind the black Honda in front of him. A sudden hard brake application in the Honda, and a rear-ender is inevitable.
At 100 km/h, a vehicle covers just under 28 metres a second. If the following driver has average reactions, and is paying full attention, from the time he sees the brake lights, his brain interprets it and causes his leg to move, his foot to shove the brake pedal, and the brakes actually start to bite, will be somewhere between half and three quarters of a second. If it's half a second, he will cover 14 metres at totally undiminished speed. If its three quarters, he'll cover 21 metres. As I said, a crash is inevitable.
It's all part of lack of proper driver training, and an inability to think clearly. So many people drive as though nothing can possibly go wrong.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

Well for starters they'll need contingencies in case a livestock truck gets done. Also perishable/frozen foods will need to go somewhere as they won't want to be accused of wasting food. Maybe a driver on standby and add the cost to the fine?

As for tailgaters, no amount of training will help. These are the type of people who don't give a crap about anyone else, and are only "sorry" when something happens.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The trouble with a lot of this is that giving the Police the power is one thing, but the Police must be groaning when a Court later takes the drivers side.
mikesyd
That is the key to the declining standard of living in a quiet enjoyable law abiding community.

I have no idea what is necessary to have the courts wake up to the rights of the community versus the rights of 'criminals' (of all types).

It is chronic when career law breakers on bail re-offend only to get community orders and the like following which they re-offend almost immediately.

The politicians are forever changing laws to appear as if they are doing something when they, actually, are not.

All we need is to have the existing laws applied by the police and enforced by the courts.
  Grantham Minister for Railways

Location: I'm with stupid!
Far out. There are already a great many laws about trucks and speeding, and they are enforced fairly strictly.

If all we do is continue to increase penalties then how long will it be before you have your hands and feet removed as punishment for 15km/h over the limit, and execution for second time offenders?

Sorry, but if they can't enforce the laws they already have then increasing the penalties for the same transgressions is just a thoughtless way to make it *look like* they are doing something positive for safety, rather than have them *actually* do something positive.

M
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Yeah, impound a freezer van of prawns or a truck of livestock. It is all talk and will never happen.
Common sense would see the truck able complete It's Intended journey and unload, from there It would be serenaded.

As to If the offending driver would be able to complete the remainder of the journey, would come down to a case by case basis.
Nightfire
Probably the next round in the war to drive culture change in the trucking industry.

Earlier this year the Road Safety Renumeration Tribunal set a minimum wage rate for owner drivers (i.e. contractors) in the trucking industry. All h*ll broke loose, with the Federal Government delaying the decision and threatening to abolish the Tribunal. This minimum rate was firmly based on findings that low rates of pay and trip based pay were correlated with high rates of accidents. Even news corp admitted this (http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/other-industries/push-to-abolish-truck-industry-pay-body/news-story/3f255720b9cff288e1905addb4f9236b)

At the time there were reports that the biggest problem was some of the freight consigners. The consigners set short transit time - barely achievable if everything goes right and there is no congestion anywhere. These are set in the contracts with some of the trucking companies. These in turn, pass the pressure onto their contractor drivers. If the driver doesn't make the transit time, they don't get anymore work, the bank repossesses their truck, and they go bankrupt. That's a pretty big incentive to speed and ignore rules about rests.

Impounding the tractor and the trailer, complete with load, would be a powerful incentive to all the players not to speed. The consigner would have their just-in-time inventory stuffed up. And they could end up with a trailer of rotten prawns. If the consigner were actually innocent, the freight company would quickly lose the contracts. Of course, the contract truckie would be the worst affected - an impounded truck would almost certainly be repossessed.

You'd have to have special provisions for livestock transport. Perhaps the driver has to drive it to the nearest saleyard or pound and unload, all at the expense of the consigner.
  Z VAN Locomotive Fireman

I am pro Rail by definition so it is difficult for me to be neutral, so I am not.
However!
Some of the comments posted mention how the majority are judged by the minority of trucks that speed.
The very few times that I venture onto the M1 north of Sydney, very few trucks seem to be worried about the 100 KPH limit.
One long weekend with double demerit points I was coming down a slight grade in road terms with a truck also doing 110KPH and we passed a stationary Police car.
Unless a photograph was taken and later an infringement notice was issued the Police car stayed put.
Now let us suppose I came down the road at 121KPH the same 10% percent as the truck was travelling over the limit would the Police car have stayed put?
We shall never know but my point is a fair degree of leniency seems to be given to Trucks.
I hate to mention this to some posters but all Laws are framed for the minority that offend and the rest who occasionally make a mistake are snared.
Until some of the small trucking operators realise they are running a business like a Factory they have to comply with the rules and Law of the Land.
If the only loads available are "let us go for it time table types" well you should really consider if your business is viable.
If the Big Boys will not touch it that should ring warning bells that there maybe a catch to this.
These proposed laws are a long way from becoming law but sometimes the only way to get the message through is tough laws and Freddie up the street looses his truck and life.
  prwise Locomotive Driver

I really do have trouble with the message we have continually thrust down our throats that exceeding speed limit = unsafe driving.

Regularly drive Melb - Adelaide via Western Highway (M8). Speed limit Vic side 100. SA side 110. Has been for as long as I can remember. Same road, same car, same driver, same conditions. Doing 110 legal for half the trip, illegal (and unsafe)  for other half.

Melbourne - Geelong is a modern 4 lane highway. No crossroads - all overpasses. Limit is 100. I live in rural area. Gravel roads everywhere (about half the states roads are in this category). On most you take your life into your own hands at 80, but they are all signposted at 100, same as Melb - Geelong 4 lane freeway limit.

Melb - Ballarat had a section through Anthonys Cutting which was 80 when rest of Freeway was 100. Freeway had limit raised to 110 and magically without any change to Anthonys Cutting road section  it was raised to 90. Same road, same condtions, would be fined for driving unsafe one day, next day it is good - nothing to see here.

Go figure.

If you exceed the limit should you be fined. Absolutely. Otherwise we basically have anarcy on the roads. But is it unsafe, maybe, maybe not. Just please stop telling me that it ALWAYS dangerous and unsafe to exceed the speed limit
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Don't look where you are going - just watch your speedo.
The road condition, the weather, the traffic levels don't come into it - just some arbitrary limit set from afar make it legal (if stupid) or illegal (perhaps OK depending).
Too often some one gets booked for 5 km/h over while someone else roars past doing 50 km/h over and gets away with it.
The 40 km/h roadworks limits bug me where there is no sign of activity and no danger but can easily put one well over the speed in a 100 km/h zone and if you stick on the 40 km/h you will get run over by following traffic.
Common sense is not very common in Victoria (the nanny state).
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

Just please stop telling me that it ALWAYS dangerous and unsafe to exceed the speed limit
prwise
In the same vein, something that annoys me is the mantra that speed kills. Huh? In the event of a fatality in a motor vehicle accident what kills is the inability of the human skin and skeletal frame to protect the internal organs from the damage imposed by the high level of energies involved. There are usually many contributing factors of which velocity is but one. This sort of simplistic thinking is not helpful. It does nothing to help us evaluate the risks we encounter in our daily lives.
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Don't look where you are going - just watch your speedo.
The road condition, the weather, the traffic levels don't come into it - just some arbitrary limit set from afar make it legal (if stupid) or illegal (perhaps OK depending).
Too often some one gets booked for 5 km/h over while someone else roars past doing 50 km/h over and gets away with it.
The 40 km/h roadworks limits bug me where there is no sign of activity and no danger but can easily put one well over the speed in a 100 km/h zone and if you stick on the 40 km/h you will get run over by following traffic.
Common sense is not very common in Victoria (the nanny state).
YM-Mundrabilla
Ahhh - the old roadworks one. It is actually worse in SA - 25k's.
Whilst in SA there were some surveyors working to shoot some sights for a new power line ( I think). Right over on the fence line - at least 20M from road edge. Could see them banging marker pegs in ground. No work anywhere near the road. Passed them several times along the road over several days.  
But I can drive along Dandenong Rd (SE Melbourne) and in many sections where it has been widened (to within an inch of it's life in some cases), you can motor along at 80, and there is about a metre of nature strip, then a maybe a young mum with pram walking down the footpath.
So we can do 80 when only 2 meters from the public, but down to 25 (or 40 in Vic) when workers can be over 20 metres away. Confussing to say the least. Nanny state at it's worse (or keep all those companies that do 'traffic control' in good money).  
But hey - we will get howled down with calls that 'everyone deserves to go home safe at the end of a days work. Except the young mum with the pram.
Why can't we have some proper consideration of the risks and an appropriate speed limit for these road works.
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Just please stop telling me that it ALWAYS dangerous and unsafe to exceed the speed limit
In the same vein, something that annoys me is the mantra that speed kills. Huh? In the event of a fatality in a motor vehicle accident what kills is the inability of the human skin and skeletal frame to protect the internal organs from the damage imposed by the high level of energies involved. There are usually many contributing factors of which velocity is but one. This sort of simplistic thinking is not helpful. It does nothing to help us evaluate the risks we encounter in our daily lives.
Lockspike
Yep - first collision car hits object. Second Collision - body hit car (be it seat belt or a protusion). Third collision - internal organs hit inside of skeletal frame (after being ripped of whatever they are connected too)

And for any reader who now thinks I am a speed freak after original post - far from it. Retired and in no hurry. Also retired and poor - hence I subscribe to Woodruff's edict. Lower speed = lower fuel consumption. Unless I am holding up any traffic at all it is not uncommon to find me under the speed limit (especially on less trafficked rural roads).
But then like Woodruff I like big cars so the return is well worth it. Pays for an extra glass of wine when dining out!
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Just please stop telling me that it ALWAYS dangerous and unsafe to exceed the speed limit
In the same vein, something that annoys me is the mantra that speed kills. Huh? In the event of a fatality in a motor vehicle accident what kills is the inability of the human skin and skeletal frame to protect the internal organs from the damage imposed by the high level of energies involved.
Lockspike

It's a simple slogan for the great unwashed public for whom physics is a closed book.

It's broadly accurate - the faster you are travelling when you have an accident, the more likely you are likely to die (or the people you hit).

Increase your speed by 10%; increase the kinetic energy by 21%. So in going from 100 to 110, you increase the kinetic energy in the car by over one fifth, nearly one quarter.

This increases the stopping distance by more than 21% (driver reaction time is constant). So you are more likely to hit something, rather than stop short.

If you do hit something, you'll hit at a higher speed. There will be more kinetic energy to dissipate at the point of impact.

If you are slowing before you hit, this might mean the difference between seriously injuring a pedestrian or cyclist and killing them. At higher speeds, it won't make any difference, of course, pedestrians and cyclists are dead. But it does make a difference to the driver, any passengers, and, if they hit another car, the people in that car.

The additional kinetic energy that needs to be dissipated means more deformation and destruction to the car. That directly affects the survivability of the people in the car.

When a car hits something big and solid (tree, truck, another car), the deceleration *time* is pretty constant. Thus, the higher the collision speed the greater the *rate* of deceleration of the humans in the car. Again, this means that people die in collisions that would be survivable at lower speeds.

Of course, there is no speed that is safe or unsafe. But the government has to set the bar somewhere. Get over it.
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Just please stop telling me that it ALWAYS dangerous and unsafe to exceed the speed limit
In the same vein, something that annoys me is the mantra that speed kills. Huh? In the event of a fatality in a motor vehicle accident what kills is the inability of the human skin and skeletal frame to protect the internal organs from the damage imposed by the high level of energies involved.

It's a simple slogan for the great unwashed public for whom physics is a closed book. [SNIP] ............


.......... The additional kinetic energy that needs to be dissipated means more deformation and destruction to the car. That directly affects the survivability of the people in the car.

When a car hits something big and solid (tree, truck, another car), the deceleration *time* is pretty constant. Thus, the higher the collision speed the greater the *rate* of deceleration of the humans in the car. Again, this means that people die in collisions that would be survivable at lower speeds.

Of course, there is no speed that is safe or unsafe. But the government has to set the bar somewhere. Get over it.
historian
Have no problem with the physics. Know it well. But sadly our authorities do not share your knowledge. Only last year I read an article on road safety in Qld on dangers of overtaking (relevent for them with their road network), pushing the point that two cars hitting at 100 km/h is the same as one car having a 200km/h frontal impact accident (it's not for the exact reasons you have pointed out above - assuming both cars same mass it is same as a 100km/h frontal accident).

My beef is that this simple message leads to people 'shutting down' on road safety. "If I am travelling at the speed limit that someone has carefully calculated so I am safe and I can put my brain in neutral"  Was in CFA and attended accidents where this could have only been the case.  

The posted 100 limit posted on outback rural secondary road system is a joke. As I said - I live rural and many of these roads are unsafe at speeds well less that this. But our simplistic message pushed time and time again to the point of ad nauseum - it is "unsafe" to exceed the posted speed limit leads to people thinking if I stick to the posted speed limit then I am safe.

We need an improved public education system (and would be great if it included the reading you have provided above), if we are ever going to start to move towards all drivers behaving professionally on our roads.

And once again I repeat - break the law you deserve to be fined. Otherwise we end with anarchy on our roads. It's just a lot of our road rules do not lead to safe driving in many instances.

EDIT PS - When my kids were allowed out on the road learning to drive (they were driving well before that though - all could handle a car by age 10) first thing we did was stand on side of 100 posted road and watch cars go past. It's bloody fast. Then try and imagine how quick you could respond when the unexpected happened like a roo or a car out of side road that hadn't seen you. Focused their minds rather well.   Strongly recommended for anyone teaching kids to drive
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
This is dumb - it punishes the company, not the driver.

There are already contingencies in place for dealing with companies whose schedules make speeding a necessity.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

Impound laws for cars punish the owner of the vehicle, yet this has been (successfully?) implemented.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
No similarity.

Ignoring that, it's logical to apply them in a non-owner specific manner to avoid having those the laws are really intended for side-skirting the punishment.

The truck case is entirely different - if a company has set up all the proper procedures (fatigue management, etc.) why should they, and of course their clients to, be punished because one day Joe Truckie decides to speed because he wants to reach Maccas before it closes?

(It must be said, the car/bike impound laws give to much power to numpty HWP police who often use them against their desired aims on those they dislike.)

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