By Nelson Groom
A truck driver who lost one eye to cancer has blasted a policeman for allegedly telling him it was a ‘f***ing disgrace’ he was allowed behind the wheel.
Trevor Vale claims the officer launched into the expletive-filled outburst after pulling him over in his truck last month in the rural town of Marlborough, in North Queensland, Australia.
The 55-year-old, who believes he has been a better driver since he had his right eye removed due to a melanoma in 2016, said he gladly showed the cop his paperwork stating he is fit to drive a commercial vehicle.
But he claims the policeman then told him, ‘it’s bad enough you blokes are out here causing carnage on the roads, and then they let people with one eye drive these things, it’s a f***ing disgrace’.
Queensland Police have since called Trevor to apologise for the alleged incident.
Dad-of-two Trevor, who has 15 years’ experience on the road, said: “I thought nothing of it when he pulled his lights on and got out of his car.
“He came over and asked if I had the relevant paperwork for driving with one eye. That’s his job, I said no problem and handed it over.
“That’s when he turned and said: ‘it’s bad enough you blokes are out here causing carnage on the roads, and then they let people with one eye drive these things, it’s a f**king disgrace’.
“I felt disgusted that someone in his position could say something like that. Trucks get the blame for so much on the roads.
“Our job is very relied upon, and we get spoken to like that by an officer of the law made me pretty angry. You just can’t do that.
“I lost my eye to cancer, but I’ve passed all the tests, I’ve done everything right. I think I drive better now than before the operation; I have to concentrate more now.”
Trevor said he underwent the relevant safety tests and reviews by optometrists and was declared fit to drive and back on the road within months of his eye removal operation.
Monocular vision, when you can only see from one eye, affects depth perception and reduces your field of vision.
Australian drivers with monocular vision must obtain a medical certificate from a doctor, with verification from an optometrist, for both private and commercial vehicle drivers.
Laws for obtaining this verification differ from state to state. In Queensland, anyone with a medical issue who holds a heavy vehicle license must have an assessment of their medical fitness to drive.
Trevor claims the police officer who pulled him over neglected to check his logbook, which is standard practice in Australia to cut the risk of tired truck drivers causing fatalities.
He claims he had a friendly chat with the same policeman at a service station just minutes before and believes the officer may have waited until he was out of public earshot to make the remarks.
Trevor shared a video rant to bust the negative stigma surrounding truckies and the treatment they receive on the roads – but said he has the ‘utmost respect’ for the police force.
The 55-year-old, who has not made an official complaint to cops, said: “I was dumbfounded when the policeman didn’t check my logbook. I thought, ‘hang on, if you’re so worried about the roads, why didn’t you check my logbook?”
“That’s the first thing they should be checking to monitor fatigue. Not asking for it is ludicrous.
“I’ve got utmost respect for Queensland police, which is what upset me more than anything else.
“In the end of the day we can’t be out here getting treated like schoolkids.”
It is understood Queensland Police contacted Trevor to apologise for the incident after press enquiries were made.
A spokesman for Queensland Police said: “Police have not received a complaint in relation to this matter.
“If someone has concerns about an officer’s behaviour, information about complaints can be found at: https://www.police.qld.gov.au/online/ComplimentsandComplaints.htm”
FACT BOX: WHAT IS MONOCULAR VISION?
• Monocular vision is when you can only see from one eye
• This affects depth perception and reduces your field of vision
• Australian drivers with monocular vision must obtain a medical certificate from a doctor, with verification from an optometrist
• Laws for obtaining this verification differ from state to state