Incidents involving trucks don’t usually end well for motorists on the road and the number of accidents in recent years has highlighted the trend even further.
Hundreds of NSW drivers and passengers have been killed or injured in incidents with trucks because of negligent driving and poor maintenance from truckies. As trucks can carry so much freight, any driving or servicing issues can be deadly for other road users.
This explains the hard-nose approach from authorities in recent times, as they conduct regular safety and compliance checks to ensure trucks and their drivers are up to scratch.
The latest occurred over October 22 and 23 with NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol and Roads and Maritime Services conducting Operation Haul Over. The checks targeted light, medium and heavy rigid Pantech and taut liner trucks at heavy vehicle checking stations at both Port Botany and Wetherill Park.
Police also carried out checks on the M7, outside of peak traffic times to reduce the impact on regular road users.
The first day of Operation Haul Over was a major success for authorities with 66 vehicles checked and 38 defect notices issued. A majority (30) of these notices were classed as minor, with eight identified as major problems.
According to police, a range of faults were found which included suspension, wheels/tyres, brakes, ancillary equipment, oil/fuel leaks and the body/chassis. In addition, 97 drivers were breath-tested with no truckie returning a positive sample. However, out of the 34 who were drug-tested, there was one initial positive result.
These operations are run by the Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce (JHVT), which was established in 2012 following a major truck accident on the Hume Highway at Menangle. From that time, JHVT have completed many campaigns to ensure the safety and compliance of truck drivers and fleet managers on the state’s roads.
It does actually seem to be making a difference as well. According to Transport NSW, monthly crashes involving trucks have been steadily on the decline since June 2013.
NSW accident compensation
If you are involved in an accident with a truck in NSW, you could be eligible for compensation. The motor accident compensation scheme extends to most motorists, including drivers and pedestrians.
It is important to contact a car accident compensation lawyer as soon as you are well enough. They can offer advice about your possible claim and discuss the circumstances around the accident with the heavy vehicle.