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Gay to trucking: ‘We will be back’

NSW roads minister joins police in rounding on trucking operators in the wake of Operation Steel 3

By Brad Gardner | May 9, 2013

New South Wales Roads Minister Duncan Gay has rounded on trucking operators running poorly maintained rigs, declaring authorities will keep hounding “the small number of rogues” until they improve.

Speaking in the wake of the recent Operation Steel 3 run by NSW Police and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), Gay told Parliament he was disappointed with the amount of defects and breaches detected over the two days the initiative ran.

Authorities handed out 154 defect notices and 136 penalty notices for a range of offences, including worn tyres, poor brakes, tampered speed limiters, excessive load dimensions and unrestrained loads.

“The Government is working with trucking companies to examine maintenance procedures and to reduce the level of defects in their fleets. My message to them is that, first and foremost, well-maintained trucks are safer for the operator and other road users,” Gay says.

“Operators should remember that we will be back again and again until the small number of rogues in the industry is brought into line.”

He praised the Government’s heavy vehicle enforcement practices, saying it has done more than any previous administration to weed out the “rogue elements” in the industry.

“It continues to work closely with the heavy vehicle industry to come up with safe and sensible working parameters,” Gay says.

“If operators step outside those parameters, the message is clear: that the Government will come down hard on them.”

Police and the RMS targeted trucks at Botany Bay, Wetherill Park and along the M5 at Kingsgrove from April 16 to 17, focusing on load restraint, speed and vehicle standards.

Following the release of the Operation Steel results, a frustrated NSW Police Superintendent Stuart Smith asked if it would take a triple-fatal crash or the destruction of a family for trucking operators to abide by the law.

The RMS urged executives and managers to pay closer attention to vehicle maintenance standards to reduce the level of defects in company fleets.

Operation Steel was launched following two major crashes where load-shifts within trucks were allegedly a contributing factor.

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