Monash truckies in fast lane: It’s a big rig-marole

What a find: The owner of Collector Auction House, Vanessa Crew, left, inspects a vase that Helen Bernard has bought in.

By CAMERON LUCADOU-WELLS

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THERE are renewed calls to ban trucks from the right-hand-lane of Monash Freeway.

RACV public policy manager Brian Negus last week said the club got many complaints about trucks filling all four lanes on the M1, which has an average of more than 20,000 truck trips between Stud and Heatherton roads a day.

He said the lane-hogging made it difficult for motorists to overtake, especially in the three-lane tunnels. “We strongly believe that trucks shouldn’t be using the right-hand lane on roads with three or more lanes in either direction.”

He said a trial ban on the Eastern Freeway and Princes Highway, between Laverton and Geelong, had led to more orderly and safe driver behaviour.

“The application isn’t just about trucks but all drivers should keep left unless overtaking. We see many drivers who just hang in the right lane and not passing or going anywhere.”

Last Wednesday, opposition roads spokesman Tim Pallas, in calling for the truck exclusion lanes on the M1, said there had been no fatalities on the two trial road sections since the lane bans.

“With the completion of works on the M1, there is no reason why truck exclusion lanes cannot be extended to that road.”

Mr Negus said there were also complaints about trucks tailgating on the M1 and major roads.

Truck driver instructor John Sculac, of Yugo Driving School, agreed that long vehicles driving into the city on the M1 should be kept in the left lanes.

“They should avoid changing lanes and definitely should not be travelling in the far lane.”

VicRoads regional director Peter Todd did not answer questions on further truck restrictions but pointed to widening of the M1 and projects such as the Hallam Road duplication and works at Pound Road.

SOUND ADVICE

John Sculac’s advice to:

Truckies

■ Car drivers may not be as good at driving as you are.

■ Keep a safe distance from cars in front.

Car drivers

■ Heavy vehicles take longer to stop.

■ Approaching intersections, check your mirrors for heavy vehicles behind and give plenty of warning if stopping.

Brian Negus’s advice to:

Truckies

■ Don’t tailgate or occupy all lanes of major roads.

■ Realise other drivers are intimidated by the size of your truck rig.

Car drivers

■ Don’t cut in front of decelerating trucks approaching intersections.

■ Don’t follow trucks so closely they can’t be seen in the truck’s external mirrors.

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