Yesterday NSW officials patrolled the state’s roads performing random checks on truck drivers to ensure that they and their vehicles comply with the law.
Called Operation Steel, this was a joint campaign between the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and the Roads and Maritime Services.
The operation commenced at 06:00 in the morning on August 28 and concluded at midnight. Towards the end of the day, just before 17:00 in the afternoon, police released preliminary results.
At the time of the report, officers had inspected 161 trucks. Of these, 58 were issued with defect notices for not meeting Roads and Maritime Services roadworthiness requirements.
Nearly 60 trucks that were found to be unroadworthy. In addition to this, there were 20 traffic infringement notices issued to drivers for carrying excessive loads, as well as for breaches such as worn tyres, not wearing seatbelts, using a mobile phone while driving and damaged vehicle headlights.
Many of these breaches are illegal and dangerous no matter what size vehicle you are driving, but according to operations commander of the Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Superintendent Stuart Smith, they are particularly hazardous in large trucks.
This is because oversized vehicles are a lot heavier than your average hatchback, and can therefore cause a lot of damage if they collide with another small car.
The result is usually more than a scratch of paint or a damaged bumper – collisions involving trucks usually end in catastrophic injury. According to Superintendent Smith, trucks are “involved in one in five road injuries”.
He said that this is why truck drivers have to be vigilant about complying with the law – rules and regulations are in place for a reason.
“There is very little room for error when it comes to large trucks carrying heavy loads,” he said in a statement.
“Crashes involving heavy vehicles are far more likely to be serious, so it is of paramount importance that truck companies and truck drivers take extra care to ensure their vehicles comply with the speed limits, vehicle standards and load restraint guidelines set by the RMS [Road and Maritime Services],” he added.
If you are ever involved in this type of crash, then you may be eligible for truck accident injury compensation.