NSW Police tackle dangerous heavy vehicle threats

Date: Apr 12, 2017

All motor vehicles pose a threat on the roads when drivers aren’t careful, but trucks are among the most dangerous because of their size and weight.

Figures from Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety show that heavy vehicles are responsible for 17 per cent of all motor accident fatalities in the state, despite only comprising 2.4 per cent of registrations.

NSW Police is therefore keen to prevent dangerous heavy vehicles from hitting the roads and launched Operation Catapult 3 on Tuesday (April 11) in an effort to clamp down on non-compliant drivers.

The force’s Joint Traffic Taskforce examined 37 heavy vehicles, with officers issuing 17 defect notices and 22 infringement notices. Among the problems uncovered were six failing braking systems and four electronic speed limiters that fell below standards.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said his officers worked on the operation closely with the Environment Protection Authority, Roads and Maritime and SafeWork NSW.

“The Joint Traffic Taskforce will continue to target the heavy vehicle industry until we can make sure that owners, operators and drivers are doing the right thing,” he explained.

“We will continue to make everyone involved in the transport industry accountable until we can ensure that the public are safe.”

Heavy vehicle driver fined for false diary entries

The operation was launched on the same day that Roads and Maritime announced that a Goulburn magistrate had fined a heavy vehicle driver $17,500 plus $900 in costs for false or misleading entries in a work diary.

Inspectors performed a random stop on the 44-year-old man at the Marulan heavy vehicle safety station in January, discovering he had falsely claimed in the diary to have stopped and rested five times over the previous five days.

“These times and dates did not match up with the real-time images we were able to cross reference his vehicle with from our Safe-T-Cam network,” said Roads and Maritime Services Director of Compliance Roger Weeks.

“In NSW, drivers of regulated heavy vehicles are required to carry and complete a work diary. A breach report was issued to the driver, as well as a direction for the driver to rest immediately.”

Heavy vehicle drivers are required to make frequent stops to ensure they are not fatigued behind the wheel.

Centre for Road Safety data shows that fatigue-related crashes are twice as likely to be fatal because drivers who are asleep are unable to brake, which, when combined with the force of heavy vehicles, is often devastating.

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