Hazard on Gibb River Road

by David T.

My reason for putting up this note is to point out what I believe is the major hazard of driving the Gibb and which I have not read about elsewhere.

The Gibb can be very corrugated and at the same time some sections can be more reasonable than others. It is natural when towing a van to pick what you consider to be the best section of road to travel over, where ever that may be. The road is often straight and very wide and you can see long stretches in front of you.

Often you may well be driving on the wrong side of the road as this offers the best track, crossing back to the correct side when a vehicle approaches or a bend in the road is coming up, travelling at 20kms per hour or less.

The problem is, because of the dust you cannot see what is coming behind you, and this is the real problem. Many four wheel drivers appear to be on a mission and will speed past you on the wrong side of you without warning, and I mean speed past (80 kms per hour or more). If this happens as you are attempting to cross back to the other side of the road an accident can well occur.

My solution: it should be compulsory for all vehicles travelling the Gibb to have UHF Radios aboard. A channel is chosen and it be compulsory to warn the driver in front of you of your intention to pass well before actually passing.

Apart from this a UHF radio is great for communicating with drivers coming toward you re road conditions ahead or if unfortunately you are in trouble, to flag assistance.
What do other users of the Gibb think?

David T. (Trakmaster Off-Road Caravan owner)

Comments for Hazard on Gibb River Road

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Dec 09, 2008
UHF radios
by: Marianne

I think letting the driver in front of you know that you wish to pass is an excellent idea. The only problem is that hire vehicles are not necessarily fitted with UHF radios and these people are often the ones with the most haste.

Jul 02, 2021
Don't put all your trust in UHF
by: Enrico

On the Gibb following a very slow moving grader kicking up too much dust for us to safely pass.
Made contact with the grader driver on Ch 40 and asked if it was safe to pass.
He sits very high and should have good visibility, so when he clearly said " all good, go for it", we did!
It was the closest I've ever cone to a head on crash, with my first sight as I rounded the grader being the lights of another 4WD.
Luckily, myself and the other 4WD driver were quick ( lucky) to swerve and miss each other by the closest of margin.
What do you do?
Some might say folllow grader for as long as it takes?
But I'd hazard it a guess that many a driver either has or does what I did.
My only practical solution ( for myself) will be to ask a lot more questions before making the call, ie maybe it was a lack of clear comms between us that resulted in the near miss.
Anyway, your call but just thought I'd share in case anyone does what I used to do and put my total faiith in the UHF.

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