Bobbins raid results in charges and arrest


Drug charges for operations manager as NSW authorities focus on speed and fatigue compliance

Bobbins raid results in charges and arrest
Bobbins raid results in charges and arrest

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | August 23, 2013

A Bobbins Transport manager will face court on Monday on a number of charges after a police raid.

Operations Manager Brendon Bobbin, whose family runs the general freight company, did not apply for bail yesterday in Batemans Bay Local Court in New South Wales.

He is charged with three counts of supplying drugs and two counts of possessing drugs.

Police allegedly found drugs and drug paraphernalia in a truck and at his South Pambula residence.

His arrest relates to inquiries into the alleged use and supply of prohibited drugs during the operation of heavy vehicles.

NSW Police and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) stormed the Pambula headquarters of Bobbins
yesterday, issuing two $2,092 infringement notices after allegedly discovering speed limiter tampering of two trucks.

They also distributed 16 defect notices totalling in excess of $16,000 for a range of minor and major faults ranging from issues such as brakes, tyres, oil and fuel, suspension, body/chassis and tow couplings.

Police checked 18 Bobbins trucks on major highways across for compliance, and conducted drugs and alcohol tests.

Five trucks were also stopped interstate which resulted in five court notices issued for fatigue-related offences.

A further 10 infringements were issued for defects, fatigue and engine control modules (ECM) offences.

Computer records and documents were seized during the raid, which police allege relate to speed and fatigue management.

Bobbins Administrations Manager Russell Fitzpatrick describes the breaches as minor but says Brendon Bobbins's charges are no reflection of the company.

"I appreciate the RMS and police but to put the company in with rogue operators and classify it as that is just an exaggeration of the whole thing," Fitzpatrick says.

"We admit there are a couple of little things that we [later] fixed up but we’re always proud of our fleet and the way it looks and the way it is presented."

Fitzpatrick
says that, in the meantime,
the company is carrying on with operations.

"Brendon is a separate issue which he has to deal with personally – what he was doing personally we know nothing about as a company," he adds.

"At the moment it’s business as usual and he’s not part of the business."

He says the company has received support from its customers.

"Our records are totally open. People don’t have to do a search warrant, they can come in any day and look at our log books.

"It’s unfortunate that the company has been tied up with other personal issues; hopefully our customers will stick with us – we have been loyal to them over the years."

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says Bobbins Transport is a well-respected company which has been part of the TruckSafe program since 2006.

"They passed their last audit which included an audit of speed limiter maintenance," ATA Government Relations and Communications National Manager McKinley says.

"TruckSafe will discuss the charges with the management of Bobbins once they’re resolved in the court."

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Superintendent Stuart Smith is calling on the industry to clean up its act saying the operation is only the beginning for those who are not doing the right thing.

"This operation is part of our ongoing commitment to stamping out rogue operators on our major highways and roads," Smith says.

"There is no place in the trucking industry for alleged speed and fatigue enhancing, by tampering with equipment or taking illegal drugs.

"Fatigued drivers or those under the influence behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle put motorists at serious risk on our roads."


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