The first week alone of an annual NSW police road safety operation has seen more than 11,000 heavy vehicles intercepted and checked for safety.
Operation Austrans, a heavy vehicle road safety compliance and enforcement initiative, has been conducted annually since 1989, with this year’s getting underway on May 20.
Between then and May 26, NSW police inspected 11,369 articulated, rigid and B-double trucks, 121 road trains and 257 coaches and buses.
Roads and Maritime officers, working alongside Traffic and Highway Patrol police, took action on some 1,370 offences, relating to load, mass, restrain, defects, registration and other infringements.
Meanwhile, police issued tickets to 79 drivers for speeding, 63 for failure to wear a seat belt, 275 for work diary offences, 164 for defects, and 627 for other offences – including using a mobile phone while driving (20 drivers).
Assistant commissioner John Hartley said that while the transport industry plays a vital role in the economy, ensuring safety compliance is important both for those operating heavy vehicles and for other road users.
He said that Operation Austrans is a national initiative, with police and road agencies across all states – and in New Zealand as well – collaborating to monitor and improve safety compliance in the heavy vehicle industry.
“At a time when the Centre for Road Safety has reported a 48 per cent decrease in heavy vehicle fatalities compared to this time last year, these results are proof of our past and continuing efforts in driving these numbers down further,” said Mr Hartley in a May 28 statement.
WorkCover NSW recently launched a new action plan to reduce injury and illness on the job within the state’s road freight transport industry.
The plan recognises the need to ensure safety compliance even when heavy vehicles are off the roads and away from the dangers of travelling at high speeds.
The action plan identifies four issues as priorities: onsite traffic management systems; loading of trucks and getting out of trucks; return to work and injury management; and driver wellness.
Working with heavy machinery such as trucks or other vehicles can mean that when something goes wrong, you don’t just risk minor injuries, but potentially career-ending accidents.
When these sorts of serious incidents occur, it is a good idea to talk to compensation lawyers about personal disability claims, through which you may be able to access a lump sum payment from superannuation or an insurance policy.