Pilbara trucker on cross-country drive for road safety
A 36m bright-pink truck is not a typical sight in the central Australian desert, but getting drivers’ attention is precisely the aim of a Pilbara truck driver who is travelling across Australia for better road safety.
Heather Jones, the chief executive of female trucking company Pilbara Heavy Haulage Girls, has just completed a fortnight-long drive from Karratha to Brisbane in her Mack long-haul truck to raise awareness of road safety issues during National Road Safety Week.
Her trip also had a focus on promoting women in the trucking industry.
Ms Jones, pictured, said she had been stopping often on the drive to talk to other drivers about road safety and truck driver awareness.
“Taking the truck across the country creates a bit of conversation, and conversation is key when it comes to road safety,” she said.
“We need to be talking not only about how we can be better drivers, but driving so others survive which is this year’s National Road Safety Week message.
“It is all about, as a driver, changing your mindset and taking into consideration the other person on the road and the external factors around you on the road.”
She cited driver distraction, especially from mobile phones, as one the biggest road safety issues.
“I always say to put the phone away — use a hands-free kit or pull over if you have to,” she said.
“Five minutes on the side of the road can save five years in rehabilitation if you are distracted and end up in an accident.”
Jones’ cross-country drive was supported by natural gas initiative Brighter and director Sarah Browne said the company wished her a safe journey.
Ms Jones stopped in towns including Broome, Katherine, Mount Isa, Roma and Toowoomba during her trip.
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