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Truckie calls for harsher penalties for drivers who pull out of in front of road trains after near miss in WA

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A veteran truck driver says motorists are putting themselves at risk almost daily by pulling out in front of road trains which do not have enough space to safely slow down.

Chris Darroch, a truck driver of more than 40 years experience, said he was forced on to the wrong side of the road last Monday when a car pulled out in front of him on Brand Highway.

Mr Darroch said his 100-tonne truck was loaded with oil and travelling at 99km/h when the Toyota Camry pulled out of Airfield Road near Gingin.

Truck Driver Chris DarrochTruck Driver Chris DarrochPicture: Simon Santi

The frightening incident was captured on the truck’s dash-cam and shows the heavy vehicle swerve to the wrong side of the road swaying from side-to-side to avoid the small car.

“The car came out very quickly and I had no time to brake,” Mr Darroch said.

“I would not have stopped in time even if I had time to brake, so I had to take evasive action.

“If something was coming the other way, the only thing I could have done is pull everything on, grip the steering wheel for grim death and try not to tip it over.

“I would have had no option other than to hit them.”

The truckie’s near miss happened last Monday at approximately 3.40pm.The truckie’s near miss happened last Monday at approximately 3.40pm.Picture: Chris Darroch

Mr Darroch said with a full load he would usually need up to 400 metres of road to stop.

He said he was only about 170 metres from the corner when the car pulled out and that he had passed a utility coming the other way just seconds earlier.

“It could have been a very nasty outcome,” he said.

“The lucky ones in this are the people in that car. They were lucky there was no one coming from the other direction.”

Seemingly oblivious to what had happened, Mr Darroch said the Camry had overtaken him less than 1km down the road and continued on.

Chris Darroch said incidents like this occur regularly and there needs to be harsher penaltiesChris Darroch said incidents like this occur regularly and there needs to be harsher penaltiesPicture: Chris Darroch

Mr Darroch said the dash-cam footage had been provided to police to investigate but that unfortunately similar incidents were becoming more common.

He said more education about how long it takes a loaded truck to slow down was needed along with harsher penalties for drivers who did the wrong thing.

“This is not a one-off,” he said. “It happens every day of the week – sometimes you can have them three times in a day.”

“You can have people overtaking you on double white lines, around bends and on hills, even overtaking you on roadworks where the speed limit is 60km/h.”

Source of article click here : The West

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