News

Driver wants B-double ban on single lane of highways

ABOVE LEFT: John May, pictured in 2011 near the speed camera at Urunga. At that time he was upset about the camera being taken away.
ABOVE LEFT: John May, pictured in 2011 near the speed camera at Urunga. At that time he was upset about the camera being taken away. Bruce Thomas

WHEN John May saw the devastation of Saturday's horrific Pacific Highway double fatality north of Woodburn, memories of his own near miss on the same dangerous stretch of road came flooding back.

The Urunga local, who has done thousands of kilometres on the highway, said his experience was one of many near misses involving B-double trucks, which he claims shouldn't be allowed on single carriageway sections of the highway.

"In 2009, it was raining and we were in a Ford Econovan and as we hit the overtaking lane there was a B-double doing about 40 or 50 k's so I just thought I'd go around him," he said.

"So I was doing about 90km/h and just driving around him, then all of a sudden I realised I wasn't getting around him, we were neck and neck, as he was accelerating.

"He was right beside us with his driver's side window down, with his arm out the window leaning on the sill as pushed the truck into our lane and pushed us over onto the incoming lane and into the path of an oncoming semi trailer."

As his life flashed before his eyes, Mr May said he floored the Econovan to almost 120kmh, enough to just squeeze past the B-double before colliding with the semi.

Mr May's memories echo those of Woodburn man Bob Cummings, who was first on the scene in 2008 at a fatal crash on the same bend as last Saturday's smash, involving a cane truck and a Commodore sedan.

"I stopped across the road from the car and jumped out and looked into the window," he said. "I wish I hadn't - it was so smashed up. I knew he was dead." A 24-year-old Queensland man died in the crash.

As Richmond River Express Examiner editor Samantha Elley walked to the crash scene on Saturday, a cross bearing Mick Steward's name caught her eye, and memories of another life lost flooded back.

"I remember reporting on that crash a few years ago on exactly the same bend," she said.

Mr May said banning B-doubles from single carriageway sections of the highway would reduce fatalities.

Roads cash

MORE than $21 million will be given to Page's five councils under the Government's Roads to Recovery Program that passed through Parliament this week.

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the legislation should enable councils to get on with the roadwork needed in local communities.

"I'm glad that after the hold-up, we can now provide this crucial funding for councils to improve our local roads," Mr Hogan said.

In the last five years the program has given Ballina Shire Council $2.8 million, Clarence Valley $7.3 million, Kyogle Council $3.7 million, Lismore City $4.5 million and Richmond Valley $3.4 million.

Topics:  ban, b-double, driving, editors picks




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Parents were warned baby could die during home birth

Exterior view of the Nimbin Hospital.

“This child’s tragic death has affected the community"

Winners of science and engineering challenge

From left,  Riley Gillespie, Kai Farrelly, Tayla Kennedy and Elizabeth Schlenker, all from Southern Cross K-12 School Ballina, powering up a city in the ElectraCITY activity.

Three local schools win annual challenge.

5 big projects bringing $300m to Lismore

SUPER SHOPPING: The planned Lismore Home & Leisure Centre would include nine large retailers, a 355-space carpark and dedicated café precinct with outdoor dining, children's play area and parents' room, plus taxi and mini bus drop-off areas.

Lismore is booming, and here's the proof

Latest deals and offers

Vivid timelapse

Screenshot from timelapse of Sydney's Vivid Festival

This timelapse shows Sydney's Vivid Festival

Carnifex Snippet 4

Carnifex are about to release new music with their sixth album. Photo Contributed

"Drown Me In Blood" from CA based death metal outfit CARNIFEX. Sixth studio album...

Carnifex Snippet 3

Carnifex are about to release new music with their sixth album. Photo Contributed

"Drown Me In Blood" from CA based death metal outfit CARNIFEX. Sixth studio album...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?