Hey truckies, slow down!

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It’s only a matter of time before a heavy vehicle on Thames Highway causes a serious accident, one Oamaru resident says.The man, who did not wish to be named, has lived on Thames Highway for several years. He said the number of trucks and heavy vehicles on the highway had increased in recent years _ as had their speeds. “When they come in from the north, around the business park it’s a 70kmh limit, and when you get to the diner, it goes to 50kmh. I’d think most people just ignore it … the 70kmh and 50kmh limit doesn’t exist. “People are so busy and impatient _ everything is about speed.
“My concern is, one day, something might go wrong.” Not all heavy vehicles broke the speed limit but a minority was giving the majority a bad name, he said. Thames Highway business owner Brian Fraser, who owns Frasers Four Square, said he had noticed more heavy vehicles speeding in recent years, particularly at night. “I start locking up at 10pm. Some of the trucks going through here would be well above what they should be, speed-wise,” Mr Fraser said. Arthur’s Antiques owner Tim Arthur, whose shop is across the road from Frasers Four Square, said he believed traffic lights installed at the North End shopping centre pedestrian crossing installed in early 2015 had resulted in more speeding. “ … they look for a green light, they see it and they keep humming along because they don’t have to wait for people on the crossing.”  Sergeant Tony Woodbridge, of Oamaru, said police received complaints about speeding vehicles regularly, but they weren’t limited to heavy vehicles. “From time to time, we do get complaints about speeding trucks,” he said. “I would say, however, that the majority of commercial operators on our roads are very professional drivers, know the dangers out there and are some of our most responsible drivers. “Many of the modern trucks on our roads are managed in fleets with GPS and with recording devices that would also encourage good driving habits.” He said police did not target specific areas unless it was warranted. “We are an intel-led police, so if we have information like complaints, crashes or other data showing there is specific problem areas, we will and can target those areas. If the issue warrants it, we can also organise operations to address the problem.” Speeding drivers can be issued infringement notices or summoned to appear in court if their driving is of a “bad or dangerous standard”.
Police also had a commercial vehicle unit which liaised directly with companies on all issues, Sgt Woodbridge said.