Quick-thinking truck driver recognised with Highway Guardian Award


Greg Camilleri reacted swiftly to prevent what could have been a serious accident.

Quick-thinking truck driver recognised with Highway Guardian Award
Greg Camilleri (left) with Rob Salter (right), group general manager of Bridgestone Australia.

 

Truck driver Greg Camilleri’s quick-thinking actions prevented a potentially catastrophic accident and has earned him this year’s Highway Guardian Award.

Camilleri, who drives for Region Peak, yesterday received the Highway Guardian plaque, which recognises truck drivers who go out of their way to help others and improve road safety.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA), which presented the award, says Camilleri was driving a B-double when a car in front of him lost control and swerved across four lanes of traffic before overcorrecting and crashing into a barrier on the Princes Freeway in Melbourne.

The car came to a stop right in front of the B-double. The ATA says Camilleri managed to bring the unloaded rig to a halt in time, before jumping out of his vehicle to check on the car’s occupants — including ensuring the baby capsule was empty — and help them to safety at the side of the road.

"It happened really quickly. I jumped straight out to check everyone was OK, though my heart just dropped when I saw the baby seat. But everyone got out OK, and that’s a good result," Camilleri says.

He adds that keeping a safe distance between his truck and the car in front helped avoid a serious incident from occurring. The event was recorded on the truck’s in-vehicle dashcam.

"It just shows that people need to be patient and leave plenty of space on the road. If you do that, then hopefully other drivers will also do the same," Camilleri says.

"I believe there are heaps of other truckies out there who do exactly the same thing out on the road – they just don’t have a dashcam recording it."

Along with a plaque, Camilleri received a jacket patch, truck stickers and lapel pin. He will be hosted at next year’s Trucking Australia event, along with being honoured at the event’s gala dinner.

ATA chair Noelene Watson says the incident shows the importance of safe driving behaviours and being alert on the road.

"Greg has acted as the perfect example of a professional truck driver - he knew his load, left plenty of space to react to changing conditions, and actively watched out for those on the road around him. After the accident he was the first on the scene, checking to make sure those involved were all right," she says.

"Because of his foresight, what could have been a terrible tragedy ended up being just a bad scare for the driver and those in the car. Professional driving behaviours like those shown by Greg really do save lives in these situations.

"Greg showed quick thinking, professionalism, and compassion in the way he responded to this split-second situation on the road."

Camilleri received the award during this year’s Technical and Maintenance Conference in Melbourne.

Bridgestone and Bandag sponsor the award, and Bridgestone Australia and New Zealand managing director Andrew Moffatt has praised Camilleri.

"Greg’s quick reaction to the situation prevented what would have been a very serious incident. This award is about acknowledging when truck drivers act with outstanding consideration for the wellbeing of others on the road and our newest Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian inductee did just that," Moffatt says.

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