RTA warning system will target dodgy operators


New warning system to target dodgy operators in NSW

RTA warning system will target dodgy operators
RTA warning system will target dodgy operators
By Brad Gardner | November 17, 2009

A new warnings system for trucking offences will be introduced in New South Wales, linked to efforts targeting dodgy companies.

The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) will next year implement the new warnings policy announced by former Minister for Roads Michael Daley.

Daley used this year’s NatRoad conference in August to abolish fines for minor fatigue breaches by saying enforcement officers will have the power to issue warnings for administrative errors.

The RTA has gone further and applied the policy to all minor offences, which will be recorded in its database and begin in January 2010.

Inspectors will rate companies depending on their record and use the figures to determine whether to inspect a truck.

"Warnings will be recordable events in the RTA enforcement database and will contribute to the Heavy Vehicle Rating System used by the RTA to identify companies and vehicles of interest," the RTA writes in a letter to the Transport Operations Liaison Group.

A spokesman for the RTA says the targeted enforcement approach means companies with a good compliance record will not be held up at weighbridges or forced into inspection bays on a regular basis.

"We will stop you because your company has a history of being a risky company," the spokesman says of the policy.

The figures are for the RTA’s own use and will not be made public, the spokesman says.

In giving a warning, enforcement officers will be required to treat each incident on a case-by-case basis and will be given the power to determine if a warning is the best response to the breach.

The new policy will also allow enforcement offices to cluster multiple minor infringements together rather than issuing fines for each one.

The RTA’s ratings system is different to the one proposed by trucking magnate Ron Finemore. He called for a system that would see companies with a good safety record receive a rating out of five, with the top-rated companies given funds to invest in training drivers.

Under Finemore’s plan, funding will come from an industry-wide levy, with the revenue allocated to companies.

"It is not the same thing as Ron’s proposed but it is not opposed to Ron’s proposal," the RTA spokesman says of the warnings policy.

According to Finemore, companies are discouraged from investing in driver training because of the cost and the lack of guarantee the driver will stay with their current employer.

"In my almost 50 years in the industry I have invested heavily in training and attracting people to the industry. However, that has also been to my detriment," he told the Standing Committee on Education and Training.

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