Toll operator Transurban slammed for ‘victim blaming’ in highway crash warning
A major Australian toll operator’s road safety message has been slammed for “victim blaming”.
Transurban has since apologised for its commentary on footage of a highway crash between a truck and an SUV.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Toll operator Transurban slammed over road rules after sharing highway crash footage.
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A truck carrying machinery is seen driving closely behind a white hatchback before it begins merging right into a lane occupied by other motorists.
The truck is then seen forcing an SUV into the concrete dividing wall.
“Be seen. Because trucks can’t always see you,” Transurban tweeted on Monday morning.
The truck appears to drive off, but Transurban confirmed: “The driver of the truck did stop, and assisted.”
But responses to the blind spot messaging were overwhelmingly negative.
Netizens lashed the toll operator for seemingly suggesting the SUV driver could have avoided the prang.
“The truck driver is driving extremely dangerously, tailgating the car in front and changing lanes without looking. How dare that car get in the way of a truck,” one person tweeted.
“What exactly should the car have done to be seen in this scenario?” another queried.
“Reeks of victim blaming!” another said.
“Are trucks not allowed to be driven alongside? Can you please point to the Victorian road rule that says this?”
Parke Lawyers managing director Jim Parke tweeted: “If the truck driver was driving in an appropriate manner, the collision wouldn’t have occurred. It’s broad daylight, the weather is fine. The driver of the SUV couldn’t have been expected to do anything more.”
According to Australian road rule 148: “A driver who is moving from one marked lane to another marked lane must give way to any vehicle Travelling in the same direction as the driver in the marked lane to which the driver is moving.”
“For this rule, ‘give way’ means the driver must slow down and, if necessary, stop to avoid a collision.”
Transurban apologised for the tweet later that evening.
“Sorry, we should have done that better,” it said.
“Truck blind spots are a big risk. We have eyes on the road 24/7 and see incidents like this, so raising awareness (correctly) is important for everyone to be safe.”
But netizens doubled down on the apology, arguing the footage didn’t accurately illustrate the road danger Transurban was trying to raise awareness of.
“That was nothing to do with a blind spot and everything to do with an aggressive truck driver,” one person wrote.
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