A truck driver has sustained serious spinal injuries after his vehicle collided with another lorry. The man was airlifted to Royal North Shore following the accident, which occurred on Hume Highway earlier this month.
NSW Police launched an investigation into a transportation company because one of its vehicles was involved in the crash. Officers teamed up with members of the Victoria Police force for the initiative. The crackdown was part of the wider Operation Austrans scheme, which aims to reduce the number of non-compliant heavy vehicles driving on the nation's roads.
The police discovered 45 defects at the transportation firm, covering 170 issues. Ten defects were classified as major and 35 were listed as minor. Problems with brakes, suspension and oil leaks were common. Furthermore, 14 people were tested for drugs and alcohol, with one individual returning a positive result.
Non-compliance risks injuries
Overall, the police examined 48 lorries and 18 trailers, with officers downloading 12 engine control modules. Two vehicles were highlighted as non-compliant, enabling speeds in excess of 100 kilometres per hour.
According to NSW Police, a driver who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol caused the accident that spurred the investigation. Drugs were also found in their vehicle.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, called for truck companies to be more aware of road regulations. He also warned firms that officers would be on the lookout for violations.
"It is unacceptable that truck drivers and truck companies take risks that put all road users in danger. Our officers will continue to do everything possible to take violating and non-compliant trucks off the road," he stated.
Spotting faults prevents injuries
Peter Wells, director of safety and compliance at Roads and Maritime Services, said spotting defects on vehicles could prevent serious injuries. He claimed Operation Austrans is already proving a success in bringing rogue traders to the attention of officers.
"It is important operators recognise the focus on compliance and road safety will continue after Austrans is completed. Transport operators must operate safe and roadworthy trucks," he explained. "This month-long operation has provided further intelligence for us to work through and other road users can be assured we will continue to follow up all information which improves safety on our roads."
Operation Austrans is a national initiative that started on May 12 and ran until June 8.