Lennox woman's crusade against 'cowboy' truckies
By JANE GARDNER
A SINGLE encounter with a menacing truck driver has turned in to a passionate crusade led by Lennox Head woman Lyndal Denny.
Ms Denny, who was tailgated closely by a semi-trailer on the Pacific Highway late last month, spoke at a public forum on truck drivers in Melbourne last Thursday after Channel Nine picked up on her story in The Northern Star.
The forum, aired on A Current Affair, was a two-hour debate between Transport Workers Union members, heavy vehicle drivers, police, members of the public and NRMA chairman Alan Evans.
"The message we want to send out is that this 'King of the Road' attitude is just not on," Ms Denny said.
"I have been hearing so many stories like mine. Every single person has been bullied, like I have."
Ms Denny said one disturbing thing to emerge from the forum was the admission of one truck driver who viewed tailgating as acceptable driving practice.
"He suggested if car drivers weren't comfortable with (tailgating) they should speed up, find a place to pull over off the road and allow the semi to pass," she said.
"He also singled out women drivers as having poor driving skills."
Ms Denny is now forming a local working group to address issues associated with sharing the road with trucks.
She says they will seek solutions to tailgating, speeding and recklessness shown by some drivers in their push to meet tight schedules.
"At the moment we are just throwing some ideas around on how we can work together as a community to address this issue," she said.
"We could make this a national initiative, started right here on the North Coast.
"I agree car drivers do make mistakes, but it's the truck drivers who are the professional drivers.
"Being licensed to drive a 65 tonne vehicle capable of high speed places a high level of duty of care on those who sit behind the wheel."
Ms Denny's group will examine how sweeping changes to the trucking industry rules could reduce accidents.