‘This is what we feel when they walk out the door’
TO MARK the end of National Road Safety Week, here's a heartfelt letter from truckie's wife Melanie Trenia Pearson imploring all motorists to stay vigilant on our roads - and also give truckies the same respect you'd want for yourself.
AS A partner of an interstate heavy vehicle driver my biggest fear every time he walks out the door is he won't be coming home again.
Myself, as well as many other partners, fear Facebook and the media while they are gone, in the hope this won't be the next time we do see them.
So many have not had this luxury and it has been the devastating way they have found out their loved one will not be returning home.
Headlines that read and start with "Truck driver dies", "Truck driver involved", so many different headlines yet they have not caused they the accident nor have the families have been informed and definitely haven't had enough time to inform all those loved ones and families involved.
Devastating photos and videos automatically putting blame on the heavy vehicles then becomes guilty by media.
Within an hour of an accident you can see it all over social media and so call journalists headlines, how is this fair to the families and to that person that was behind the wheel of that heavy vehicle.
Can anyone truly imagine unless you have been in there boots or shoes how this must feel to to receive such devastating news this way and the absolute heartbreak it causes.
People fail to see that "driver" is a person and being a driver is an occupation not who they are as a person or what they mean to so many.
Why is always "TRUCK DIVER" on the headlines when actual statics show they are more than likely not what caused the accident but they are automatically perceived as guilty by media.
The law and then needs to prove their innocence.
What happened to innocent before proven guilty?
How can the public be asked to see our loved ones as anything other than "cowboys or "rouges" when this is how the media treats them and publicly portrays them.
That "truck driver" is loved, has family, friends and a life other than their occupation and so much more than a headline.
They have human needs just like everyone else.
People hate on them like they are them, like they are the worst of the worst on our roads but fail to see their human side and what they do to supply everyone with basic needs, from fuel to toilet paper to that roast chicken on Sunday night dinner table.
That "truck driver" you see is my partner, my love, a father and he leaves home to provide for his family.
He provides a roof over our heads, food in our bellies and we love him dearly.
Every tine he leaves he risks his life to provide for us but also everyone else too but what thanks does he get? The finger, abused and treated like his needs do not matter.
Like any human he needs to rest and eat and especially over holiday periods this becomes his worst nightmare.
"Truck only" parking bays and rest stops filled with holiday-makers enjoying their family time, which is great, but that truck bay designated for my and others' partners you fill is actually a place for him to rest, eat and shower . By you taking that stop he then has to find another within the time the law says he has to follow to eventually find a piece of dirt with no facilities to rest his head, listening to highway traffic.
How is this fair?
Why is he so unwelcome and judged unworthy of what holidays-makers think they are entitled to?
Yes my partner has a name, his name is Wayne. He is a father and loved by us and so many.
He spends most of his time driving interstate and he is home one or two days a week.
He loves what he does and he knows the risks and what the job as a driver requires but we love him too and just want him to come home safe and to be treated fairly and like anybody else would want to be treated .
Say hello to a driver as most love to chat. Recognise them as human and give them the same respect you would want.