Operation Overland breaches count reaches 71

Trucks linked to Scott's Transport rack up broken rules including speed-limiter tampering but most are for defects

March 9, 2012

NSW Police say 71 "charges" related to Operation Overland have been laid.

The joint police and NSW Roads and Maritime Services operation has focused on trucks linked to South Australian-based trucking firm Scott’s Transport.

The charges follow the interception and inspection in NSW of 98 of the company’s 322-strong fleet.

Offences identified, include: 18 speed-limiter tampering breaches, two overloading offences, 18 fatigue (log book) and 67 defect notices issued.

"The safety breaches we have since found with this particular company are widespread and extremely concerning," the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Superintendent Stuart Smith says.

"On one of the trucks inspected, the cruise control was found set at a staggering 152km/h.

"It must be remembered that heavy vehicles are speed limited for very good reasons – they cannot stop quickly and when forced to try the results can be catastrophic.

"The company allegedly involved in these incidents has been co-operating with Police and the RMS, however, it is this minority of rogue operators who are not only breaking the law but placing the lives of other road users in peril."

RMS Director Customer and Compliance Peter Wells says chain of responsibility laws will be a focus of RMS heavy vehicle compliance investigations.

"Chain of responsibility means everyone involved in a delivery, not just the driver, owner or operator, is responsible for compliance," Wells says.

"Grocery stores, grain silos, fresh food markets, retail stores - all these businesses and any other which relies on road transport need to start asking themselves what they are doing to prevent speeding by the heavy vehicles which arrive at their loading docks.

"RMS has a clear message to anyone involved in a supply chain which requires heavy vehicles to exceed the speed limit to make a deadline - you are on notice, this can kill people, what are you doing to stop it from happening?"

"Every party in the chain may face criminal charges if laws are broken.

"Worst of all, if a company is involved in requiring a heavy vehicle to speed, this will be a very serious offence indeed."

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