The girl, a 44-year-old woman and three other children were rushed to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital after their Ford Focus sedan collided with the tanker on the New England Hwy at Muswellbrook at 9.20pm (AEDT).
Eight days ago, four people were killed in a fiery crash on the NSW south coast involving a petrol tanker and three cars."
(source: bigpondnews.com, January 06, 2010 » 12:40pm)
(image: google images)
I have been saying for years - mostly in private rantings at the suited talking manakins whom deliver the news on TV - that "trucks kill".
I first noticed the extroadinary number of truck-related traffic accidents in Australia way back even before 9/11. I wondered why no-one else ever talked about it, why the threat of trucks on our roads was never debated in the public domain and why this stupid practice wasn't consequently outlawed. Perhaps no-one had noticed?
I thought it my civic duty to alert the Australian public, so I planned to write to the newspapers and spark the debate on trucks. But then I was quite busy that week, so I'd do it the next week... After a while, I decided that I must be imagining things and trucks were not that bad.
In the last couple of years, the scourge of the roads has made a horrific come-back ("an" horrific is wrong, as the "n" is only added to ease the flow of two contiguous vowels in pronunciation, and since the "h" is not silent, there is no need for the "n").
Trucks are appearing the news almost every night and not because of their involvement in people smuggling or terrorism.
Trucks are dangerous with even the safest and most altruistic drivers simply because they are several tonnes of steal moving at high speed: force = mass x acceleration, you hit a Toyota Camry and you have a chance, you hit a truck and you're gone; when a truck driver slams their breaks on, nothing happens - the truck will continue to fly forward, slowing down only when it no longer matters.
This is a truck with a safe driver. The fact is, truck drivers themselves are not paid to drive well-rested and arrive at their destination as late as possible. Truck drivers are paid to get to their destination as quickly as possible - families are driving on a truck race track; they share the roads with a race between trucks whose drivers are drugged up, stressed out and sleepy.
The solution is at least conceptually simple: get trucks off our roads! We already separate cars from each other with traffic islands, concrete barriers and high-tension wire fences.
In 1994, the Swiss public voted to ban foreign trucks using their roads to cut across their country en route to France, Italy etc. Today, almost all Swiss freight is railed. Using trains to freight goods is not a new idea, but its genius lies in the separation of normal cars from stupidly huge vehicles (just as we (try to) separate pedophiles from schools and the poisons cupboard from the toy box).
The Swiss have the only true democractic system in the world, 'direct democracy', not this sham we call 'representational democracy', which is really oligarchy. Citizens of Australia Unite and Ban Trucks from sharing the same roads used by families! The Swiss only had to vote, but we shall have to use other means, such as protesting and getting really upset at the suited manakins that read to us each night.