Another news story is doing the rounds again this week to demonstrate how trucking doesn’t help itself, when it comes to stories getting into the media. The story also shows us how some of the road authorities in this country are willing to blow up an isolated incident on the road, implying this kind of thing is normal behaviour.
On this occasion, a truck driver has received maximum penalties for four offences after being pulled over at Marulan. The driver in question, Steven Tong, was fined $26,400 and got nine demerit points in the Goulburn Local Court. The truck was found to have a speed limiter tampering device on board, allowing it to travel at a maximum speed of 130km/h.
“The Victorian-based driver was stopped at the Marulan North heavy vehicle safety station in March this year, where it was alleged he also had a laptop on board with software which allowed him to adjust the vehicle speed for three different engine types, a number plate shield and a quantity of drugs,” said Roger Weeks, Transport for NSW Director of Compliance.
In the statement Weeks went on to tell us about the event as it played out at the roadside. When confronted about the laptop, the driver ran off into the bush and police were called. A subsequent search by officers found the man, the laptop, hard drives containing the engine control software and some methamphetamine.
Of course, there is no place for tolerance for any of these behaviours and hopefully this driver does not return to the truck driving community. He was hit with a massive fine, but only banned from driving for six months.
His offences are another example of how the trucking industry continues to shoot itself in the foot. Somebody must have known this guy was chasing around like an idiot and likely to kill people if he continued to drive trucks. No-one did anything. It is hard to believe this was a one-off, that this driver wasn’t hooning up and down the Hume on a regular basis.
If the trucking community as a whole doesn’t take on this topic and do something positive about it, all of the hard work done showing the responsible nature of trucking as a whole is going to be undone time and again by crazies like this.
Every time one of these people are caught, the police and road authorities have a field day. The full extent of the driver’s crimes are listed with an unbecoming gusto. The narrative is all about, these crazy drugged up drivers who are out on the highway at night putting lives at risk.
The narrative continues with a description about how police and road authorities are the thin blue line protecting the general public from these monsters. The implication is they are protecting the population from the trucking industry.
Yet again, trucking doesn’t help itself, it’s no good to just sit there wringing our hands and talking about how responsible the trucking industry is, because it only takes one bad apple. If we really want to act responsibly we need to get out there, identify who it is who is wrecking the industry’s image and dob them in.