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Worry a part of life for a truck driver's partner

SPEAKING UP: Vicki Joy wants public awareness and education on sharing the road.
SPEAKING UP: Vicki Joy wants public awareness and education on sharing the road. Doug Eaton

BEING the wife of a long-distance truck driver can be exhausting.

Vicki Joy of Sextonville and her partner met when she was still driving trucks.

Like many other partners of long-haul drivers, she worries daily about his dangerous line of work.

Don't marry a truck driver if you or they think you're going to travel the country, Ms Joy said.

According to a report from Safe Work Australia, Ms Joy's concern for her partner on the road is not misplaced.

Truckies have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, with more than 300 people in the transport industry dying on Australia's roads each year.

The death rate is 11 times higher than in more conventional jobs.

The reputation for truck drivers causing accidents through speeding is misplaced

Ms Joy said the hours for truckies are "extreme" and play a significant role in driver fatalities.

While legislation introduced in 2008 regulates how many hours a driver can work without a break, it is widely known that many companies don't play by the rules, with some drivers being forced to work for 28 hours straight.

"Big companies just want you to get the job done and if you don't do it, someone else will," Ms Joy said.

"The reputation for truck drivers causing accidents through speeding is misplaced."

In fact, Roads and Maritime Services research shows only a small number of repeat offenders are responsible for a large proportion of heavy vehicle speeding offences.

"Yes, there are some rogues out there but there are situations that drivers are put into that make them look bad," she said, noting a recent trend of cars overtaking trucks and then slamming on their brakes to snap a photo of what looks like a truck tailgating.

Ms Joy said the lack of education about driving with heavy vehicles on the road should be addressed by the government.

Topics:  driving safety editors picks truck driving trucks


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