RMS puts Robbie Walker Transport in its sights

Victorian trucking firm ordered to attend court to face charge of breaching load restraint requirements in New South Wales

RMS puts Robbie Walker Transport in its sights
RMS puts Robbie Walker Transport in its sights
By Brad Gardner | July 23, 2013

Robbie Walker Transport has been ordered to face court in New South Wales on a charge of breaching load restraint requirements in an incident that killed a motorist.

The Supreme Court of NSW approved the Roads and Maritime Services’ (RMS) request for the Victorian operator to answer the charge, which stems from an accident in Bathurst two years ago when one of its trucks was carrying steel beams from Newcastle to Orange.

Justice Monika Schmidt says part of the load swung out from the truck while it was travelling along the Mitchell Highway and collided with a car being driven in the opposite direction by Leonie Darling, killing her.

"The driver of the combination, Mr Basil White, was later charged with manslaughter," Schmidt says.

Following the accident, NSW Police asked road safety engineer Rob Di Cristoforo to write a report on how the beams were loaded.

Di Cristoforo found that the wood placed on the trailer deck to keep the beams off the floor, known as dunnage, was inadequate.

Schmidt says "this deficiency permitted the catastrophic movement of the load which caused the accident".

Trucking companies can be held liable under the Road Transport Act and the Road Transport (Mass, Loading and Access) Regulation if one of their vehicles breaches mass, dimension or load restraint requirements.

The regulation states a load must not be placed in a way that makes a vehicle unsafe or unstable, it must be secured so it is unlikely to fall or dislodge and that an appropriate method must be used to restrain the load.

Company owner Robbie Walker declined to comment when contacted by ATN today.

The family-run firm located in the rural Victorian city of Wangaratta has been in business since 1975 and specialises in carting overdimensional freight.

"Robbie Walker Transport endeavours to meet the ever growing demands of the freight industry with priority to adhere to all state laws and regulations, safety and environment issues through fatigue and maintenance management systems," the company’s website says.

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