TWU

RACQ Sacks Hero Tow Truck Driver Who Saves Life

Release date: 2/07/2015

TWU QLD MEDIA RELEASE, 2 June 2015

The Transport Workers Union of QLD commended a tow truck driver for his heroic actions and initiative saving a wheelchair bound driver from a life threatening breakdown on the M1. The RACQ disagrees: they have sacked him.

“Our RACQ driver was forced to decide whether or not to save a person with a disability from a life threatening situation on QLD’s busiest motorway, and RACQ sacked him for it,” TWU QLD Secretary Peter Biagini said.

“The TWU backs our members 100 percent this driver is an asset to the RACQ and the QLD drivers who rely on him, and he should be reinstated immediately.

“It is a fatal risk to remain on the M1 in a stationary vehicle. We had five young people tragically killed when their car broke down and a car ploughed into the back of it on the M1 near Coomera in December 2012Íž and there have been too many incidents of stationary cars on motorways hit resulting in death, in QLD and interstate.”

In the breakdown in question, a driver with a disability was broken down on the M1 with cars speeding past at 110km per hour. There was no room to exit the car and no time to get him into his wheelchair with traffic speeding by next to the car at the highest legal speed.

“Every breakdown situation is different,” Mr Biagini said.

“There are situations that call for initiative, such as a life threatening situation where it is common sense to get the person out of danger as quickly as possible. The RACQ policy on towing needs to recognise this reality on the road.”

The RACQ Driver and TWU Member is a dedicated professional driver who has worked as a vehicle recovery officer for the RACQ, assisting Queenslanders with breakdowns on the road for over eight years.

“The TWU calls on the RACQ to immediately reinstate our member who is an asset to the organisation,” Mr Biagini said.

“We also call on the RACQ to consult with the TWU regarding changing their towing policy to reflect the reality of the road so situations like this do not occur in future and no tow truck driver is left to question whether or not to take an action that could save a life.”

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