Operation Austrans keeping promises in NSW

Defective engine control modules and $60,000 of cannabis headline police inspections into heavy vehicle industry

Operation Austrans keeping promises in NSW
Operation Austrans blitz sees some success in NSW.


Operation Austrans is making good on its pledge to tackle non-compliance and crime on Australian roads, with the annual blitz successfully apprehending vehicles and drivers over the past week.

As part of the operation to stamp out speeding, drug use and fatigue in the transport industry, a 22-year-old man from South Australia will face a Broken Hill court today, charged with the supply of cannabis, goods in custody and possession of cannabis, after $60,000 of the drug was found in his truck.

Hidden in boxes, the drugs and an undisclosed amount of cash were seized during the search at Gol Gol as the driver was heading towards Sydney on the Sturt Highway.

The arrest comes a day after the New South Wales police announced officers from the Joint Traffic Taskforce comprising the NSW Police Force Traffic and Highway Patrol Command working alongside Roads & Maritime Service Inspectors, had inspected 188 heavy vehicles over the course of the day ranging from small rigid local trucks to interstate B-doubles.

During the period the police reported:

  • 56 drivers were breath and drug tested, with one driver, a 32 year old male from Melton South in Victoria testing positive to methamphetamine
  • Nine Engine Control Modules were downloaded, with two found to be non-compliant, allowing those trucks to travel at speeds of more than 100km/h. As a result both trucks were defected
  • 22 defect notices, and 13 infringement notices were issued for a range mechanical issues, including one truck that had a number plate cover that obscured the numberplate not allowing camera detection. This same truck also had its engine control module tampered to allow speeds of more than 100km/h.
  • Officers also prevented 25 trucks from leaving the distribution centre with loads not properly restrained.

Speaking in the wake of the reports, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s assistant commissioner John Hartley says they are focussed solely on heavy vehicle safety.

"Given previous fatal heavy vehicle crashes, and recent court outcomes, it is critical that those who load, maintain, operate and drive trucks focus on compliance," Hartley says.

"To have Joint Traffic Taskforce Officers identify trucks not loaded and restrained correctly, tampered to allow speeds of more than 100km/h, and one driver testing positive to drugs, shows the worth of our work in preventing heavy vehicle related crashes on our roads."

Since the beginning of Operation Austrans on May 18, the New South Wales police have examined 5860 trucks and trailers and found 551 defects.

The authorities have also drug tested 1866 people, with 29 returning positive results.

Last week it was reported that a 40-year-old Tailem Bend man was caught by the South Australian police after he blew .152, tested positive for methamphetamine and cannabis, possessed cannabis and was driving his vehicle disqualified.

Operation Austrans will continue to June 16.

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