Truck company calls for upgrade to ‘worst road’ in Australia
EMERALD Carrying Company has labelled the Peak Downs Hwy between Mackay and Moranbah the "worst road in Australia" but they say they can only control one side of that road.
Strict safety measures are in place when employees travel the highway but the company is reeling after the death of one of their drivers, Peter Carr, in a fiery crash on March 8, the latest in a series of incidents.
Business manager Andrew Pritchard said the company was looking forward to the upgrade to the Peak Downs Hwy at Eton Range flagged on Friday, particularly when it came to the safety of their drivers.
"Initially we have a very extensive induction and re-induction process to make drivers aware of the risks in road transport," Mr Pritchard said.
"When we have an accident we offer counselling. This week just past we've had a counsellor here for three days, and that was put to all staff and all family members.
"We have as many controls as you can have to make sure everyone returns home safely.
"We're constantly looking at how we can improve but unfortunately the last six to eight months has been a nasty run for us."
He said any upgrade to the Peak Downs Hwy would be welcomed.
"You can drive the highway and it depends where you are there may be nothing wrong with it," Mr Pritchard said.
"But there are sections there where shoulders are very narrow and if someone is coming towards you and has overtaken on double lines you don't have a lot of room to get off.
"We find on Peak Downs there are lots of hills and bends where there's a lot of incidents and near misses because of impatient drivers and lack of education."
Mr Pritchard said drivers adhered to strict speed rules, which included trucks travelling at 97kmh.
"One of the main reasons for that is to allow a buffer zone when trucks are coming off hills, especially on the Peak Downs Hwy," he said.