The Road Ahead Sampler : April May 2014
QUEENSLAND'S LARGEST CLUB 9 FEATURE | NEWS APR/MAY 2014 THE ROAD AHEAD ALL IN A DAY'S WORK The alarm goes off, signalling the start of another day at work. You dress, hop into your vehicle and drive along the motorway. In the 110km/h zone you park in the emergency lane and, despite countless vehicles passing at high speed, start your work day. This scenario might seem far- fetched, but for RACQ's Traffic Response Team it's a fitting description of just another day in their 'office'. RACQ Motoring Enterprises Traffic Response Team Leader Geoff MacDonald is part of the metro- Brisbane and north-coast units -- two of four RACQ Traffic Response units operating in south-east Queensland. Their job is to respond to any incident -- crash or breakdown -- that causes a blockage on the roadway and set up a 'safe zone' for other recovery vehicles and emergency services. Geoff said they rely on signage, high-visibility work wear and the protection of an Attenuated Vehicle. Ultimately, though, their safety depends on the behaviours of passing motorists. "You can't predict if someone might fall asleep or decide to drive drunk. You can never stop these things from happening," Geoff said. "You can only set up in such a way that can minimise those things happening and maximise our safety. "We just need motorists to understand that we are out there trying to clear an incident so they can get to where they need to be so, if it says do 40km/h, then do it. We're not in cars or bullet-proof. We're human." "The Yellow Ribbon road safety campaign runs until May 11, which is Mother's Day, and the message is that 'every mother wants their family home safely'," he said. "We want to make it an annual campaign in Queensland. Not only because the roads are the workplace for many RACQ staff, but because we also want to protect our members." To do that, RACQ has created the Breakdown Safety Glovebox Guide, a list of precautions motorists should take in the event of a breakdown, including: • Finding an emergency breakdown area/bay. • Parking the vehicle as far to the left- hand side as possible. • Activating your hazard lights. • Activating your parking lights if it is dark, raining or foggy. • Leaving the vehicle if it is safe to do so, exiting from the passenger side if possible and taking passengers with you. • If remaining in the vehicle, fastening seatbelts and if possible, sitting in the seats furthest from traffic. Your copy of the Breakdown Safety Glovebox Guide is included in this edition of The Road Ahead. They will also be distributed from this month by the Queensland Government. To support SARAH Inc and Yellow Ribbon Week, you can purchase a ribbon or sticker from sarahgroup.org.
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