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Hundreds of trucks caught in latest NSW blitz

Authorities clamp down hard on trucking and declare rogue element is still putting profit ahead of safety

February 21, 2013

Hundreds of non-compliant trucks have been caught in the latest blitz on heavy vehicles in New South Wales, leading police to argue a lot more work needs to be done to remove rogue operators.

Operation North Canuck, a joint initiative between NSW Police and the Roads and Maritime Services, handed out 184 defect notices, 240 traffic infringements and 30 breach notices to truck drivers in two days on the Pacific, New England and Newell highways.

The operation commenced at 6pm on February 17 and concluded at 10pm on February 19. Police officers and RMS heavy vehicle inspectors targeted the state’s north, focusing on Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Kankool and Moree.

“Over the last two years, police and RMS have worked hard to remove speeding trucks from our roads,” Police Superintendent Stuart Smith says.

“We have seen some excellent results to date, and there was a marked reduction in the number of trucks detected speeding in 2012 when compared to 2011. However, the results of Operation North Canuck clearly demonstrate that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.”

Smith claims there is still a “rogue element” putting deadlines and profits ahead of safety.

Authorities homed in on speed limiter tampering, drink and drug driving, fatigue, vehicle standards and load restraints. All up, 1,231 trucks were inspected.

NSW Police says 304 trucks had their electronic control modules (ECM) downloaded, leading to the discovery of 32 trucks with tampered speed limiters. The vehicles have been grounded for further inspection.

“In one case, we discovered a truck with an illegal setting, allowing the vehicle to travel at speeds of up to 150km/h. Quite simply, a truck travelling at 150km/h is an absolute recipe for disaster,” Smith says.

“The state-wide speed limit for trucks on all NSW roads is 100km/h. Any truck with a doctored speed limiter, enabling the vehicle to travel in excess of 100km/h, is a very real threat to the lives of other road users.”

The results of Operation North Canuck come only days after the release of figures showing NSW had made significant inroads in reducing the level of heavy vehicle speeding incidents.

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