Part of the problem with the mainstream media is their tendancy to group all manner of trucks and truck drivers under the one title which gives the public a misleading impression of professional drivers and truly “commercial” trucks. Whenever any type of truck is involved in an incident there is no distinction made between professional career drivers, tradesmen using small rigid trucks as an extension of their business and weekend warriors using a rented furniture van to move house.
I don’t have any statistics to back me up, but, I am sure professional drivers are involved in a dramatically fewer number of incidents/kilometer than “amatuer” truck drivers. Unfortunately amatuer and professional drivers are all lumped together by both the media and and the people responsible for compling road accident statistics. The media, by doing this, create a false image of “dangerous/killer” professional drivers and the statisticians distort the police and government’s view of the true nature of the problem leading to laws and policies which, while encompassing all truck drivers, may not be accurately directed at the “problem” group of drivers.
Yesterday I saw a prime example of a “non” professional driver flouting a basic rule of transport – by failing to secure his load.
The bobcat on the back of his rigid truck had no restraints at all, the only thing holding it on was gravity and the fold-down sides of the tray (made of wood and not looking very strong). All it would take for the machine to fall off or slide would be to brake heavily or swerve (avoiding other traffic) or simply hit a large and unexpected bump in the road.
Guess what the headline would be then? “Truck Loses Load And Kills Family”. This bloke needs a kick up the arse and the media need to realise that professional drivers hate idiots like this.