Truckies and highway is a hot issue
By DAVID MOASE
NORM Mann was a truck driver for 40 years but it was not until one unforgettable trip after he retired that he was able to appreciate the highways from a car driver's view. And it wasn't a pleasant discovery. "I experienced a level of bad behaviour from truck drivers one night and I couldn't believe it," Mr Mann said. "I'd elected to come home late so I could drive with the trucks but by the time I got to Kempsey I was exhausted and furious." Mr Mann channeled his anger into a campaign called Truck Rage and now is taking his call for better behaviour on the road, especially on the Pacific Highway, into the Federal election campaign. He is standing as the Lower Excise Fuel and Beer Party candidate for Cowper and leading the Coffs Harbour-based party's push for improvements to the Pacific Highway to make it safer for all users. "Not only do we need control over truck drivers we need a highway removed from not only Coffs Harbour but every regional centre along the road," he said. "I believe we need a transport authority funded by the Federal Government, responsible to the Federal Government, involved in the policing of heavy vehicles. "The second step is to remove heavy transport from the Pacific back to the New England Highway and to encourage the operators to do that I would support a policy of no excise on their fuel while we get our highway built."