5 May 2016

Logging trucks roll on blind bend in road

1:21 pm on 5 May 2016

Residents on a winding road near Whangarei are calling for a lower speed limit for logging trucks after two rolled on the same bend.

There have been four forestry deaths this year.

There have been four forestry deaths this year. Photo: 123RF

In the latest accident, a truck tipped over on Otaika Valley Road yesterday, trapping the driver for an hour, bringing down powerlines and temporarily closing the road.

Michelle Abernethy - whose home overlooks two blind bends on the road - said despite the 55km/hr speed limit, the trucks are taking them at speed.

She said they were also flouting other road rules.

"I see so many truck drivers, the logging ones especially, on their phones talking away, eating. I know they've got to eat, but stop. And you see them smoking. But the one thing of real concern is seeing them on their phones, all the time."

Five logging trucks have rolled in the Northland region in less than a month.

The main trucking lobby said it took lorry safety seriously and was running a series of seminars for drivers to prevent their vehicles from rolling over.

The Road Transport Forum said its Rollover Prevention Safer Journeys Programme was designed to train drivers to avert such crashes.

The group said it was no secret that New Zealand had a high number of rollovers compared with other OECD countries.

It said rough topography and difficult driving conditions were major contributing factors, but could not be used as an excuse.

Margaret, another motorist who drives into Whangarei each day, had a near miss with a logging truck in 2014 and said up to half the trucks she passed heading into town were fully laden logging trucks.

"A logging truck who makes a mistake is way more dangerous than a car doing the same thing."

See the video of Margaret's close encounter with a truck that suffered a mechanical failure south of Whangarei here:

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