Muppet Time

Approaching Tamworth yesterday evening, just past Timbumburi, on my way to swap trailers and head back down to Sydney I had one of my closest calls yet.

I had the camera running, looking out the front windscreen with a 3 second interval between frames. It’s a very flat and straight stretch of road and visibility was excellent….

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Up ahead you can plainly see a set of brake lights sitting to the left of the fog line as well as the head lights of an oncoming vehicle. The four red lights climbing vertically are a radio mast.

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Three seconds later. I’m doing 100kph so I’m 86 meters closer. His brake lights have gone off and you can see from his headlight beam that he’s pulling out. At 63 tonnes doing this speed it’s going to take me about 120 metres to stop, add to that a 2 second reaction time during which I’ll travel an additional 60 meters I need 180 metres to not kill this guy and his family and he’s not that far away (Note that the oncoming vehicle is slightly further away than he is).

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Another 3 seconds: The oncoming vehicle  has past me which means he was less than 90 metres away. I’m hard on the brakes now and blowing the air-horns hoping it’s not the last thing his kids hear.

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Another 3 seconds: Six seconds after this joker decided he could pull onto the road and I’ve crossed to the other side to get 26 metres of truck around him and I’m hard on the brakes so I’m at risk of the trailers breaking out and coming around me.

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Nine seconds after he made a nearly fatal decision he’s become aware of his impending demise and swerved back across the fog line allowing me to come back onto the correct side of the road.

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Twelve seconds and it’s all over.

Now I don’t know about his underwear but my ticker was trying to punch a hole through my singlet. So much so that five minutes later I pulled up at the Mobil Servo for a coffee and a settle down.

As I climbed out  of the cab the Muppet drove by and didn’t dare even look at me.

He could have maybe  stopped to apologise and thanked me for saving his life… oh well just another day in the office.