Gay expands Sydney oversize truck penalties

Operators and customers who allow over-height or over-length vehicles on city roads face greater risk

Gay expands Sydney oversize truck penalties
Gay expands Sydney oversize truck penalities
May 1, 2013

New South Wales is ramping up pressure on local and interstate trucking operators and their customers who allow over-height or over-length vehicles on Sydney roads.

While drivers already face penalties of $2,200 and the loss of six demerit points, Roads Minister Duncan Gay says penalties that affect truck registration and travel rights in the state will soon come into force.

"I’ve ordered reforms to come into effect by the end of June that would allow RMS to suspend the registration of any heavy vehicle for three months if drivers disobey warning devices and travel onwards into tunnels or Galston Gorge," Gay says.

"Let me be clear, simply passing one of these warning signs which advises drivers they cannot enter a restricted area can trigger these new penalties.

"This would have the same effect of impounding a heavy vehicle without the added burden of dealing with the costs of towing, storage and dealing with any freight or goods being carried."

Gay says authorities will ensure there is clear signage before an over-height or over-length truck enters a restricted area so drivers will be aware the vehicle could lose its registration for three months.

"Interstate vehicles who decide to flout the law in NSW will also find taking a shortcut could cost them dearly," he says.

"Apart from a fine and demerit points they also risk losing their right to travel through NSW until a suspension of up to three months is served."

Gay expects the changes to make it easier to require commercial operators and companies in the chain of responsibility to show they had taken reasonable steps to ensure a vehicle was not driven onto restricted parts of the road network.

"Offending trucking companies risk having to pay the cost of tow trucks, staff and any other resources essential to the removal of a heavy vehicle which becomes stuck," he says.

"We will also be able to seek compensation for damage to infrastructure caused by the breach."

Gay says the approach is about targeting people in the best position to ensure compliance, be they consignors and loaders or company managers.

He says the Roads and Maritime Services will also help GPS providers develop ways to identify the restricted routes to help drivers make the correct decision on the road.

"This is not just a matter of preventing traffic congestion, this is also about improving road safety," he says.

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