The ATA has revealed the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian for 2019 announcing Silverdale Sand and Soil’s Brendon Gilbert as the winner for coming to the aid of a motorcyclist who had a medical episode on one of Sydney’s busiest roadways.
Mr Gilbert was travelling on the M4 behind the rider, who began to hang off his bike and then fall to the ground. Mr Gilbert took prompt action, burying his foot on the brakes to successfully bring his fully loaded truck to a halt in order to come to the collapsed rider’s aid alongside another motorist until paramedics arrived.
ATA Chairman, Geoff Crouch says Mr Gilbert’s actions are another demonstration of truck drivers’ skill despite the challenges they face on the road.
“Brendon Gilbert’s story is another example of the incredible skills Australian truck drivers have, as well as the vigilance and attention to what is going on around them, and we are delighted to present him with the Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian accolade,” Mr Crouch said.
“His story is also another example of the public scrutiny our industry is put under when a truck appears to be involved in an incident.”
While Mr Gilbert and his fellow motorist were performing CPR on the rider, incorrect reports emerged that a truck had collided with a motorcyclist – fuelling social media commentary on the accident.
“This misrepresentation portrayed our industry in a negative light when in actual fact, as demonstrated by Brendon, safety is such a huge emphasis for transport business and their drivers,” added Mr Crouch.
“The Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian recognises incredible efforts of very worthy individuals in our industry, such as Mr Gilbert, who go above and beyond. The accolade highlights the instances when our industry’s commitment to safety is essential,” he said.
According to Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, Stephen Roche, all motorists can learn from Mr Gilbert’s experience.
“We’re are pleased to see Brendon Gilbert named as a Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian. His quick action prevented what could have been a very different result for the rider,” Mr Roche said.
“Bridgestone and Bandag support this Australian Trucking Association award because of a shared emphasis on safety, and Mr Gilbert is a strong example of how safe driving prevented an accident – with him being aware of what was going on around him and preparing to react if needed.
“Congratulations Brendon on becoming a Bridgestone Bandag Highway Guardian.”