STUDENTS take turns checking out the truck’s cab, finding blindspots a driver might have. Photos James Sandbrook OB4717-03

YESTERDAY at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Waioweka, the focus for students was on being safe around large vehicles on the road, especially trucks and trailers.

As part of the “Share the Road” initiative, Bruce Nairn from the Log Transport Safety Council was on site to educate students, joined by truck driver Taylor Olsen and Claude Hendrikse, a forest engineer at Rayonier.

The session began with a PowerPoint presentation on the various dangers posed by a large truck and trailer unit, which fully loaded could weigh 45 tonnes.

At this weight, Mr Nairn said vehicles could take more than 150 metres to stop when travelling at 100 kilometres an hour.

“It’s so that they [the children] understand that trucks are bigger than the car they might have at home. They just need to be aware,” he said.

The message of the day was “be safe, be seen”, with a big focus on a truck driver’s blindspots as well as how to avoid them.

Mr Nairn showed these blindspots in his presentation, and again with a truck and trailer brought to the school for the demonstration.

Students were each given the opportunity to sit in the truck’s cab and were taken around the truck to get an idea of what visibility the driver had.

“These large vehicles also generate a lot of noise and wind when going past,” said Mr Nairn.
Principal Hilda Patterson added that many of the students’ parents were involved in the forestry industry, and this demonstration gave them a better understanding of the industry.