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Increased log truck traffic in Blackwood prompts safety warning

26 October 2016

Summer means an increase in log trucks on plantation and native forest roads in the Blackwood Valley, prompting a call for motorists to drive with care.

Forest Products Commission acting plantations manager Troy Sawyer said signage was being installed on plantation and native forest roads to remind locals and visitors to drive safely while sharing roads with log trucks.

“Log trucks and other heavy vehicles require more distance to safely stop compared with cars and, depending on the location of smaller vehicles, blind spots may mean the truck driver is not aware there is a vehicle behind,” Mr Sawyer said.

“Loaded trucks also accelerate slowly as the driver has to go through a number of gears to get moving, so it is vital people remain patient.”

Mr Sawyer said log truck drivers are aware of the safety issues associated with road sharing as haulage ramps up heading into summer.

“We also need the public to appreciate the change in truck numbers on the road and adhere to a few simple tips to ensure everyone’s safety,” Mr Sawyer said.

Safety tips fact file

  • Drive close to the left-hand side of the road, especially over crests
  • Don’t cut corners.  Stay to the left
  • Only overtake in designated overtaking lanes or when safe to do so
  • Don’t exceed 80km/h on gravel roads where there is truck activity
  • Keep your headlights on while driving
  • If you have a two-way radio, use UHF channel 40 to let log trucks know you are near
  • Slow down when you see a log truck, especially if it is dark or when there is rain, dust, mud, smoke or fog in the area
  • Keep a safe distance from the truck
  • If you can’t see the driver’s side mirror, the driver can’t see you