Truckies ‘unfairly targeted in new law’

MATTHEW HEPWORTH

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Truck Drivers now face $126 fines for driving in the right lane of the M1. Photo: Matthew Hepworth

The Transport Workers Union says new laws restricting trucks to the left lanes of the M1 will ‘significantly increase pressure on truckies’.

The new laws came into effect on August 1, and restrict all vehicles over 4.5 tonne to using the left lanes of the M1 in both directions between Springwood and Robina.

Transport Workers Union Queensland Branch Secretary Peter Biagini said the laws are unnecessary given speed restrictions are already imposed on heavy vehicles.

“The fact of the matter is that heavy vehicles are already regulated, with vehicles speed limited to 100km/h, there is limited situations where it is necessary for them to use the overtaking lane regardless,” Mr Biagini said.

Mr Biagini also said he is worried truck drivers will be singled out by the new laws.

“Until we see that there will be actual policing of the current laws regarding keeping left unless overtaking for all vehicles, we cannot support threatening the jobs of working people – particularly when this law is restricted to a single stretch of highway.” Mr Biagini said.

The fine for an individual breaking the new law is $126 and 3 demerit points or $630 for businesses, however Main Roads and Road Safety Acting Minister Steven Miles said exceptions can apply to the new law.

“A truck can of course use the right hand lane if they have to avoid a hazard or an obstruction.” Mr Miles said.

James Ohlson uses the M1 to commute to and from university and said he believes the new law will cause issues for drivers merging and exiting.

“I think if they are in the left lane in times of high congestion when you are trying to exit off I can see some potential issues there,” Mr Ohlson said.

 

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