Police officer slammed over 'dangerous' U-turn in front of truck

A police car making a last-minute U-turn in the path of a 38.9-tonne truck has sparked outrage after dash cam footage of the close call went viral.

Truck driver Jason Kemp, 44, was at the wheel of a 19-metre truck on Weakleys Drive in Maitland, in NSW’s Lower Hunter Valley, on Thursday when the vehicle whipped into his lane.

Fortunately Mr Kemp was travelling 10km/h less than the 60km/h speed limit for the section of road, so was able to pull up just in time to avoid hitting the sedan.

But it was a manoeuvre that should never have been performed, the experienced heavy-vehicle driving instructor told Yahoo News Australia.

The driver of the police car has been slammed after footage of his U-turn was posted online. Source: Jason Kemp

“That was something that should never have been done. If I was going the speed limit, I would have got him big time,” Mr Kemp said.

He credits his experience as a professional driver for his ability to pull up in time to avoid a collision with the much smaller vehicle.

“If I wasn’t watching what was going on, I would have definitely hit him,” Mr Kemp said.

Mr Kemp, who has 20 years of heavy-vehicle driving experience, said the police car could have utilised a roundabout that was 300 metres further down the road.

The truck driver said it was lucky he was going slower than the speed limit. Source: Jason Kemp

He argued the driver being pursued by the police car would have also been stalled by an upcoming intersection, meaning a slim chance of it getting away.

“If I did that in front of [police] highway patrol, I would have been booked,” Mr Kemp added.

The truck driver posted the video on a local Facebook page, with many taking issue with the police officer’s decision.

“Think this cop had a death wish,” one person wrote underneath Mr Kemp’s post.

Another Facebook user claimed the driver of the police car was “imposing dangerous situations and endangering lives”.

A third person said: “Lucky he didn’t get mowed over. Would have been the trucks fault no doubt.”

A NSW Police spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia police are aware of the video and are currently “reviewing the matter”.

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