The Truck Friendly Caravan Road Safety Program advocates for compulsory towing training for caravanners to increase safety on the roads.
Spearheaded by caravan road safety researcher and campaigner Ken Wilson, the program continues to promote the message about the importance of caravan owners sharing the road with trucks.
The Bundaberg Local insists on more incentives for caravan owners to undergo secure towing training.
“Truck Friendly helps educate on interacting with heavy vehicles on the highways and safe towing practices for caravanners,” said Wilson.
On Wilson’s Truck Friendly Caravan Road Safety Program Facebook page, he asked: “Should we have compulsory towing education for drivers towing caravans, horse floats, boats, and other trailers over a certain size?”
“For one state to go it alone would be political and tourism suicide for that state, as tourists would avoid that state if they cannot legally tow their van there,” he said.
The post has received an overwhelming amount of feedback, and many expressed their belief that drivers should take some kind of driver towing education.
“There are almost weekly needless caravan rollovers, and many within the industry estimate that approximately 70% or more of all caravan rigs on the roads would be overweight in some respects. An overweight vehicle is unroadworthy, and insurance can be voided. There is a definite need for more safe towing education,” Wilson said.
“While compulsory towing licenses or endorsement may be suggested by many, the reality is that light vehicle licenses are the responsibility of eight individual states and territories, and they currently can’t even agree on towing speeds and other road safety laws.”
Wilson said that the focus must be on the education of caravanners and discounts for drivers who completed the formal working course. He added that it should not be on a separate license since it will be challenging to implement it in over six states and two territories.
Wilson is appealing to training organizations to design an Australia-wide practical caravan towing program so that every trainer can be taught according to the same standards.
In addition to promoting education for caravan owners, Wilson regularly shares information and insight into the different aspects of trucking and how caravans can do right by truckers on the road.
In his series of posts, he has one about the use of UHF. In it, he reviews both its advantages and disadvantages for caravan owners.
“Communication with other vehicles like trucks can be very helpful in overtaking and being overtaken, especially when used in conjunction with the ‘I’m Truck Friendly’ stickers. The knowledge that the other driver knows you will be overtaking or is overtaking allows for cooperation between vehicles to pull out, overtake and return to the lane safely,” he said.
Wilson said that the UHF is useful in Central Queensland and Western Australia mining communities, where “wide and very long trucks and road trains can share the road.” He added that motorists would have to rely on their eyesight since they will “not hear wide loads” without the tool.
“There are some that don’t like them and others, like me, who would not tow a van without one. It is personal choice. I like the extra safety that the UHF provides and have had some pretty funny buggers on the other end of a conversation that lighten your day,” Wilson continued.
Wilson has also explained to his followers what the green reflectors found on the side of some highways are used for.
“Approximately 500 meters from a safe place to pull over, you may see 3 x Green reflectors, 250 meters you may see 2 x Green reflectors, and just at the safe place you may see 1 x Green reflectors,” he said on his Facebook post.
“They were started by road safety advocate and truck driver Rod Hannifey as an aide for truck drivers to find a safe place to pull over if tired or to check the load etc. They are now in Qld, NSW, and some in Victoria, I believe.”
Wilson added, “Truck Friendly is also advocating for lawful advertising of motor vehicles with many companies promoting the vehicle’s towing abilities with big glossy photos or videos of the vehicle towing a large caravan without the legally required towing mirrors, making the vehicle unroadworthy. This practice is against the advertising standards.”
Caravanners can support Wilson’s work on the Truck Friendly program by ordering a free ‘I’m Truck Friendly’ sticker through his website. These can be collected at over 45 locations throughout Australia or posted for a fee.
This article originally appeared on Big Rigs.