Caravan CB, UHF 18 and CB 18 started in 1999 with the first lot of Caravan Survey forms put out through caravan parks in Dubbo asking for comment and suggestions. It is still growing and has been adopted by many, many individuals and by Caravan Clubs in Queensland, Canberra, Melbourne, Western Australia and elsewhere.
It aims to promote communication and improved road safety by giving vanners a recognised channel for on road chat and information. By signing caravans with stickers nominating Channel 18 (UHF or AM/CB) front and rear, it allows truckies to know where to call up vanners, say Hello and to overtake safely. In being able to speak with one another, this diffuses some of the dramas that can occur when, without this direct contact the vanner and the truckie can both be guessing and or making assumptions as to what the other is going to do. Channel 18 was chosen to avoid the UHF repeater channels of 1 to 8 and the return channels of 31 to 38. Please do not use UHF 35 as it is the return channel for the emergency channel 5, when a repeater is in use. It is illegal and could interfere with an emergency.
Truckies have utilised CB, and now more so UHF radios for many years and whilst mobile phones have lessened their importance, they can still provide an enormous safety benefit. We can now extend this to caravans by making contact when needing to overtake and improving road safety for both groups.
Many vanners are new to CB/UHF so give them a fair go and please be aware that bad language, particularly on UHF with its 10 kilometre range goes much further than those who hear it, in further tarnishing our frail and battered public image. Here is a chance to show we are human and safe and courteous drivers who do wish to share the road and see all get home safely to families and loved ones, us included. Now it is up to us as truckies to use this safety benefit. Please give it a try and make our workplace safer and better respected.
Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey, Road Transport and Road Safety Advocate.