On my many travels along the Warrego, I have noticed a strange and growing phenomenon.
There are heaps of Hi-Luxes with hi-viz markings tooling up and down the highway. Invariably, they clump together like some form of mobile soap scum – you know, the pattern that develops on the top of an old washing copper.
I’m old enough to remember that.
Anyway, these utes are all owned by mining companies. These same mining companies have pretty much colonised the Surat basin.
Each and every on of them is fitted with a GPS tracker. This cunning device, sends a signal back to a base somewhere. This signal contains real time information about speed and location.
If a unit exceeds the speed limit, an alarm goes off back in base, and the driver comes in for a grilling.
Consequentially, they all stay 1kph below the limit.
Given that you need to exceed the limit to overtake anyone travelling less than about 90 kph, mining vehicles don’t overtake.
Hence the “clumping” which is inherently quite dangerous, as motorists not carrying tell-tale GPS will try to pass long convoys of slow vehicles.
It indicates centralisation taken to extremes, and is a text-book example of unintended consequences.
And it is dangerous.