The question Diesel would like to ask of Channel Nine is, what is the problem with trucks? The answer, if it was honest, would be that bagging trucks and trucking, especially when the emphasis is on very big trucks on city roads, is good for ratings.
The other thing is there is very little blowback from the trucking industry when the TV shows like this recycle dodgy facts about the trucking industry and cloak it all in inflammatory language for the best effect.
Why is there no angry reaction and attempts to correct the false impression given? Probably, because the trucking industry has become resigned to be the whipping boy for those in the media who have little respect for both trucking and the truth.
We have become used to being a massive industry, representing about ten per cent of Australia’s GDP, but having minimal leverage in political circles. The pollies can ignore us because there are no electorates in which the road transport industry would be an important enough issue to swing an election.
If there was an electorate in which trucking might swing the vote, it would be in one of those inner city suburbs where gentrification of a formerly industrial area has led to an influx of truck-hating voters. Not a positive for the trucking industry.
The trucking industry has become used to being publicly vilified by all and sundry for political or audience gain, and learned to just ignore the noise emanating from these quarters. At the same time the rail industry has realised the trucking industry button is one they can push every now and then to keep trucking in its place and try and up the profile of rail in the public and political consciousness.
Where are the facts and statistics in all of this? Show us the numbers of higher productivity vehicles involved in accidents, compared to the stats around the ‘more acceptable’ prescriptive truck population.
So, what is the problem with trucks? Facts, realistic numbers, actual factual reporting? Nah!