Is it time for an official ‘Grey Nomad Wave Day’?

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Do you acknowledge fellow travellers while out on the open road

When veteran grey nomads muse that the camaraderie of the open road isn’t what it once was, they commonly point to the decline in the ‘highway wave’ as evidence.

The volume of raised hands or politely lifted steering wheel fingers received from passing caravanners and motorhomers has long been seen as an unofficial guide to the relative strength of the ‘shared experience bond’.

There are no shortage of travellers who recall that ‘back in the ‘70s’ everybody would  acknowledge passing vehicles in the Outback, or who claim that ‘there’s so much more snobbery now’ with caravanners not waving to motorhomers and vice versa.

The truth or otherwise of these claims may be debated around many a campfire but what cannot be disputed is that other sectors of the highway fraternity are noticing a similar perceived decline in on-road mateship.

Truck driver Doug Kirby believes that the truckie’s wave has also been in decline and he has launched ‘Wave at a Truckie Day’ on November 22 to try to stop the rot. All drivers have to do is attempt to wave at each truck that passes on that day.

“The way everyone thinks the industry is gone, they say there is no camaraderie or not mateship on the road, so we just want to change it for a day,” Doug told the ‘Big Rigs’ newspaper. “It’s just a simple action that shows a bit of respect and acknowledgement, that there are others out there living away from their families, supplying the country with all their needs, and trying to support the people close to them.”

Doug says he remembers being a six-year old watching his dad wave at passing trucks and it’s  a habit that he – and now his own children – have picked up. He says the ‘Wave at a Truckie’ idea was actually inspired by a silly habit.

“I realised I was waving at night, just out of habit, and I’m like ‘what am I doing’,” he told Big Rigs. “I posted online just having a bit of a laugh about my stupidity and found out a few others had been doing it and we then started talking about that mateship, which is what this movement is all about … mateship calling on the road and showing that respect for each other.”

Importantly, Doug says there is no discrimination between sorts of trucks on ‘Wave at a Truckie Day’.

“It shouldn’t matter what you drive, we all help Australia go round,” he said. “We are all out there doing the same thing at the end of the day, what we cart it doesn’t matter, we all just need a day to recognise each other again.”

  • Would you like to see a ‘Wave at a Grey Nomad Day’ introduced? Comment below

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13 Responses to Is it time for an official ‘Grey Nomad Wave Day’?

  1. We’ve been acknowledging all Truckees with a waveform the last 3 yrs Caravanning in WA. So kept doing it all across to Cairns Qld.
    We found nearly all return the gesture with the ones that can be seen through their windscreens.

    • Yes we did the same on our trip to the top end and back. A number of truckies waved to us, so we now included the wave to them and our caravan and motorhome travellers wherever we go.

  2. I’m not a grey nomad yet, but hope to be in the not so distant future. Being a regular driver on the open roads of Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, I’m sorry to say that the grey nomads are the worst at acknowledging other road users. There have been times when I would have gone passed 30 -40 caravanners/mobile homers in a trip and not received one single wave. Truckies on the other hand are the opposite. Not too many don’t wave. There are a few, that if I have been behind them for several kilometers trying to pass but for some reason never can, are courteous enough to indicate when to pass when the road is clear. I always show my appreciation with a double blinker once past the truck. This is in stark contrast to a lot of caravanners I have been behind , who will hold up long lines of traffic, and then other motorists make risky moves and judgment trying to get past them.

    • Here here Charles we fully agree with you

  3. We always wave to fellow caravaners. We recently had a campervan holiday in Sctland and every campervan waved to each other there. I wave to people when I walk the dog. It takes no effort and hopefully it will eventually catch on.

  4. We wave to everybody and find there are less and less wavers on the roads. Have been surprised at the lack of waves from truckies. We have also found that the closer you are to cities and towns, there are less wavers.

  5. Always do it in NZ and Australia. More in NZ wave back than over here.

  6. We have also waved to truckies and caravaners as we travelled and I will say we received more back from the truckies than caravans which was very disappointing

  7. My wife and I take bets with each other about whether we will get a return wave. I try to wave to everyone and get surprised when I get truckies wave back these days. There are less and less wavers out there and Yes as you get closer to civilisation, the less wavers.

  8. I wave to the truckies as an acknowledgement for the job they are doing..otherwise l don’t bother not feel the need to wave to someone l don’t know,or to feel like a part of the flock.

  9. Julie and I always try to wave at other travelers. when out west we just wave to everyone. Truckies, ambos , cops and firies also. in the cities we try to also but i would rather keep my eye on the road ,,,, it’s a tad crowded on some of the city roads.

  10. Being an extruckie the wave was a normal greeting to a fellow Truckie. Now I am a grey nomad I continued the wave to include other nomads, but many seem to have arthritis and cannot even lift a finger in response.

  11. Wave, don’t wave.
    It’s more important that the driver is 100% focussed on road trafic front and rear with road safety dominant over “social” etiqeute.
    My attitude is that mainline professional road train drivers deserve a courtious wave to acknowledge their significant presense on what generally amounts to poor Australian road conditions.

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