Vehicle defect rates alarm Victorian authorities

Preliminary figures for Operation Trishula underlines maintenance shortfalls as a particular risk

By Rob McKay | May 28, 2013

The preliminary findings of Operation Trishula have been made public at the Victorian Transport Association’s State Conference.

The heavy vehicle safety compliance initiative held between last October and this month, was born of a previous initiative, Operation Hyland, which had identified defects in 85 percent of stopped vehicles, 77 percent of which were "major defects".

Trishula, involving Victoria Police, VicRoads and WorkSafe at 35 locations around Melbourne and across the state, saw 1,693 interceptions with 1,300 defects identified, 688 of which were deemed major.

Brake and tyre infractions led the breakdown, at 25.7 and 23.7 precent respectively, followed by chassis 20.9 percent, suspension 11.7 percent and seat belt 11 percent.

Vehicles grounded and towed away numbered 71.

Indications, at this very early stage and before deep analysis, were that owning-company
size was not a significant factor.

WorkSafe issued 128 enforcement actions and eight dangerous goods vehicle notices, 88 percent of which were related to
load restraint.

While some impact on load restraint and welding
has already occurred as a result of Trushula,
WorkSafe is gearing up for a fleet maintenance
project, with a particular focus on the waste management sector.

VicRoads will put to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator that it should also shoulder vehicle standards as part of its responsibility, the conference was told.

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