Operation Austrans tests more and finds more

Police results show solid rise in heavy vehicles tested and rise in offences, with some concerning trends detected

Operation Austrans tests more and finds more
Police checks rose for this year's Operation Austrans


Most heavy vehicle offences recorded during this year’s Operation Austrans rebounded against falls last year, the latest Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) figures show.

The state of heavy vehicle standards made an unwelcome return to the limelight.

After falling from 12,640 in 2012 to 10,076 last year, the number of detected offences rose to a record 13,525 this year.

Also up were seatbelt offences, also a record at 741 after 633 last year and 714 the year before.

Alarmingly, one offence type that is soaring is "Dangerous Goods/OHS Offences", albeit from a fairly low base. 

They have progressed from 113 in 2012 to 205 last year and reached 314 last year to be by far the worst-performer.

Still much of this can be attributed to a hefty increase in the numbers of trucks intercepted, up to 93,970 from 69,159 last year and 81,956 the year before.

No rise topped that of rigids, which broke through the 30,000 tests mark to 36,661 while B-doubles jumped past 20,000 for the first time after testing that level through the decade, not to mention road trains/B-triples that were up 10 per cent to 5,662.

"Of the offences detected, police caught 290 unauthorised drivers, detected 327 mobile phone/ distraction offences, intercepted 151 drivers at the roadside who were impaired or tested positive for drug driving, identified 3,833 work diary/log book breaches including instances of exceeding work hours and fail to produce, 3,122 exceed mass and/or dimensions and load restraint offences, as well as almost 1,000 drivers caught speeding," ANZPAA CEO Jon White says.

"These are worrying numbers.

"While police acknowledge the wider economic benefits of heavy vehicle movements and that most drivers and businesses take their road safety responsibilities very seriously, these results highlight that some don't. This must change."

Despite efforts to improve compliance with safety standards, there are still too many deaths and serious injuries that involve heavy vehicles, he adds.

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