Galston Gorge has become infamous for the number of over-length vehicles that have been stuck there, but a local truck driver has blamed Roads and Maritime Services for these incidents.
The former heavy vehicle assessor turned truck driver has spoken out against the licensing process for a Heavy Rigid License. He believes this plays a major role in the incidents at Galston Gorge.
Brad Greenrod said the licensing process was not efficient,
“It takes just six hours to acquire a ‘Heavy Rigid’ class licence, which is the mandated minimum requirement of the RMS,” he said.
“How can someone with just six hours experience be educated enough to know that their vehicle might be classified as over-length for Galston Gorge.
“Personally, as a driver, I stay away from the Gorge, it is just bad luck down there.” he said.
The truck driver also condemned the “learn on the job mentality” of HR license holders which was also contributing to the number of incidents at the Galston Gorge area. He highlighted the importance of education for truck drivers,
“A lot of people point the finger at truck drivers, but as one myself, I am passionate about drivers being as educated as possible,” Mr Greenrod said.
“But it comes down to three key factors, the most significant is poor training, lack of knowledge of local roads and drivers not knowing the length of their own vehicle.
“I was a driver trainer for six years, I taught people how to drive over-length vehicles and large machines on our roads.
“But the thought process these days is acquiring a heavy vehicle licence and learning on the job, rather than with a skilled trainer.
“This mentality is what sees uneducated drivers finding themselves stuck in the Gorge.”
The heavy vehicle operators said that commuters were inconvenienced by the long delays caused by trucks stuck at Galston Gorge but single operators and businesses are the worst impacted. They have to fork out more than $3000 in fines as well as have their license suspended and face deregistration of a vehicle which for smaller operators could be bankrupting.
Deregistration and loss of revenue costs the driver tens of thousands of dollars and can result in many operators going out of business.
Mr Greenrod said he wants to see better education for owners of high rigid licenses to prevent these types of traffic delaying incidents in the future.
A spokesperson from Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) said drivers were trained and assessed against the RMS competency standards by accredited assessors,
“After the required standard of competency has been achieved the RMS will issue the appropriate licence.
“Most trainees will complete the training in around 8-16 hours, depending on prior experience and how well the trainee applies the set requirements.”
Community consultation for a red light camera at Galston Gorge’s western side has started and designs are expected to be completed this month.