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Merge madness puts lives at risk on Kwinana Freeway

A quick-thinking road train driver narrowly avoided a horror crash on Wednesday night after a classic example of deplorable Perth merging on Kwinana Freeway.

Ray Holdsworth was driving an 83-tonne road train carrying 40,000 litres of liquid fertiliser when he was forced to slam his brakes flat to the floor, lay on the horn and swerve into another lane to avoid a collision.

Footage captured on his dashcam at about 9pm shows cars banking up at the pointy end of the merging lane after a motorist failed to enter the freeway at the right speed.

Mr Holdsworth wanted to share the vision as an example of what not to do when trying to merge.

“The more people who see it from our point of view the better,” he said.

“If showing the public saves one person from a crash then it wasn’t all for nothing.”

Mr Holdsworth said it was frustrating that drivers were not more aware of their surroundings and likely oblivious to the potentially catastrophic consequences of their poor driving.

“They drive off and they have no clue of what they have just put me through,” he said.

“In last night’s example there’s probably two cars that are probably at fault there, the third one was probably like me, in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

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He admitted the incident had shaken him.

“It makes me think should I be changing careers. You come home at the end of the day just by pure luck because you go through these situations and you think, how long can I keep doing this for?”

WA road rules state that that if there are dual lanes and the lane you are in ends, then you need to give way to vehicles in the lane you are moving into.

Motorists need to indicate their intentions and take it in turns to merge if there are long lines of merging traffic.

Importantly, you also need to match the legal speed of the road you are merging into.

Failing to give way when merging carries a $100 penalty and two demerit points.

“If you are driving down the on-ramp and if you can see traffic behind you on your right hand side, you have then got to decide whether to speed up and get in front of it or slow down, match the speed and get behind them,” Mr Holdsworth said.

“I think those are the decisions that aren’t getting made because they seem to be coming off the freeway with no idea what’s going on.”

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