Road rage

Monday’s truck accident on the freeway near Crafers has again focused attention on road sharing.
Heavy vehicles, it seems, are again in the spotlight as thousands of peak hour commuters were inconvenienced when a semi-trailer transporting live chickens rolled over, blocking the road for several hours.
The frustrations of motorists forced to take slow alternative routes and other heavy vehicle drivers who were required to wait until the road was cleared were obvious and understandable.
However, the debate has now moved on to how authorities can prevent a repeat performance.
But as theories and suggestions abound – some good, others fanciful – the bottom line is that the problem can never be eliminated.
Calls for trucks to be removed from the freeway – leaving the highway exclusively for cars – is not the answer.
As slow, inconvenient and dangerous as sometimes trucks can be, it is worth remembering that almost everything we use in our daily lives spent time on the back of such a vehicle.
Everything from your home computer to your hairbrush, your TV to your toaster ended up at your place via an interstate truck. The reality is we must share the roads with these vital elements of society as they deliver the products we demand.
That is not to say improvements cannot be made, but blaming trucks for all problems on the freeway is taking the easy option.
If the Government believes a bypass – which takes trucks off one road and puts them on another – is too expensive and cannot be justified, then the alternatives are limited.
The situation on Monday is a symptom of having only one major eastern route into Adelaide – which is at capacity.
With 54,000 vehicles using that road every day (4000 trucks, 50,000 cars) it is little wonder that any accident or incident will cause significant problems.
And with the population growth planned by the State Government for Mt Barker, the problem is only going to increase.
The Government recently ditched its plan for a bypass from Monarto to Adelaide’s northern industrial suburbs, meaning the options are limited.
But blaming trucks is not the answer.
Blaming politicians for a lack of foresight is more appropriate.