And so it continues.

Yet another truck hurtles off the road in a single vehicle accident near Te Pohue this week.

Eight days ago a unit spilled its 16.7 tonne load on the expressway - the second logging truck to tip in two days.

The frequency of these incidents beggars belief.


Here we have professionals whose livelihoods (and licences) depend on getting from A to B in one piece. Inexplicably, they're struggling to stay on the seal. Experienced drivers are making rookie mistakes. Rigs are too often in the roadside rough.

What's going on?

In 2013, 47 people died and a further 747 were injured in road crashes involving trucks. The fact trucks feature less often than cars in accidents is immaterial.

The reason truckies can drive only 14 hours a day at a legal speed 10km/h slower than cars is best summed up, in this writer's view, with a line from the New Zealand Transport Agency's website:

In crashes involving trucks most of the deaths are not truck occupants, but rather the other road users involved. This reflects the fact that in a collision between a heavy vehicle and a light vehicle or vulnerable road user there is a much higher probability of death or serious injury than in a collision involving only light vehicles.

First Union spokesman Edward Miller, who represents logging and industrial truck drivers, recently said weary truckies and production pressure were contributing factors in truck crashes. These are real problems presenting a clear and present danger to road users.

Another reality is that driver fatigue and haste excuse neither the commercial hauler nor the car commuter. As far as excuses go, they absolve no one.

Certainly they're no solace to road victims' families.

The industry's drivers need a reality check. Trucks and trailers are rolling on our roads like Jaffas on a cinema floor. It's unacceptable.