The National , Monday, May 30, 2011
IN almost all cases where an accident happened at the “killer corner” or “hell corner” along the Poreporena freeway, the cause has been a “runaway” vehicle.
Vehicles do not just run away on their own, there is always a reason.
It is common to see a heavy vehicle, fully laden, travelling down the freeway towards Harbour City at excessive speed.
You will notice that the vehicle’s brake lights are on, indicating that the driver is trying to slow it.
Unfortunately, with heavy vehicles, this practice does not always work as it only serves to overheat the brakes, rendering them useless and resulting in an accident.
Had the driver adopted the correct procedure for descending the hill, then he, and possibly others, would still be alive and his children would still have a father.
When heavily laden vehicles approach a steep downhill gradient, they should observe and carry out the following:
* Move to the left hand lane of the highway;
* At top of descent, reduce speed and engage a low gear;
* Brake intermittently, allowing brakes to cool, using trailer brakes as well as prime mover brakes and exhaust brakes if fitted.
By using a low gear, descent speed is limited and controlled to a safe level. Also, brake wear and effectiveness is extended.
“In a perfect world”, if these procedures are observed, we will not get the proverbial “runaway vehicle”.
Also, as in all countries that drive on the left hand side of the road, the left lane is for slower vehicles and the right lane is known as the “overtaking lane”.
When slower drivers in PNG travel on the right lane, they confuse the rest of the traffic.
To solve this, authorities should erect “Slow vehicles use left lane” signs along our freeways and highways.
This will reduce accidents and help the flow of traffic.