EYES WIDE OPEN: Gympie truck driver Warren Dyke says some car drivers are a highway horror story.
EYES WIDE OPEN: Gympie truck driver Warren Dyke says some car drivers are a highway horror story. Renee Albrecht

iPad idiots 'watch TV while they drive'

PROFESSIONAL driver Warren Dyke is sometimes amazed at the behaviour of his fellow road users - and not in a good way.

Newspapers, iPads and phones are among the many distractions he believes contribute to those no-cause crashes on straight roads.

As he tows up to 50,000 litres of fuel along the Bruce Hwy from Brisbane, Gladstone or Mackay, he is sometimes shocked by drivers who would rather die than miss that favourite TV show.

"I've seen a few wild things,” the Gympie-based Bernard Petroleum driver said.

"I kind of try to keep my attention on what I am doing, but you have to look when you see a car all over the road.

"I had one the other day coming along past Caboolture.

"Looking out the window there was this fellow watching TV or a video on his iPad, with headphones on so he couldn't hear either.

"He was on the highway, mostly in the left-hand lane, but really just all over the road.

"He had his iPad held against the steering wheel.

"I've seen people reading maps or even the newspaper or texting the same way.

"They are big issues for everyone on the road at the moment,” he said.

"I think they cause a lot of the crashes south of Caboolture.

"People seem to get on a good straight stretch of road and think they just need to glance up every now and then.”

Inexperienced caravan or trailer-towing drivers, errors in merging traffic and cyclists who break the rules are also among his concerns.

"I don't have anything against caravan drivers, but we have to go through some license training to tow trailers.

"But car drivers whose only towing experience is taking a box trailer of green waste to the dump are then allowed to tow heavy caravans without any extra training.

"I think they should have to do a course, a bit of a competency thing, for their sake and everyone else's.”

Merging is another thing.

"People doing 70 or 80kmh trying to merge with 110kmh traffic are dangerous, and even more so if they change their minds and stop suddenly.

"And maybe cyclists should have to pay $20 a year to have number plates so they can be identified when they break the rules.

"They are sometimes bad drivers too.”

Gympie Times


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