South Australia highlights concerning defects rate

Figures indicate more than six per cent of state’s fleet may have serious compliance issues

South Australia highlights concerning defects rate
The shredded tyre found at Wingfield.


One in 16 linehaul trucks and light and medium rigids are displaying major defects, particular Operation Austrans results so far for South Australia show.

Inspector Steve Kameniar, the officer in charge of SA Police’s Traffic Support Branch, highlights issues including problems with brakes, steering suspension and oil and fuel leaks.

"Police are concerned about the road worthiness of many heavy vehicles on our roads and we will continue to crack down on poor maintenance of heavy vehicles that threaten the safety of all road users," Kameniar says.

Of 1,600 trucks tested, 100 had major defects and 140 minor issues.

Though checking all truck sizes, SA authorities' focus at Kimba, Monteith and Yamba is on semis, B-doubles and road trains while that for Cavan, Edinburgh Park and Lonsdale is light and medium rigids.

This has allowed for variations at certain locations.

Yesterday at Lonsdale, police and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure compliance officers defected 25 out of the 33 heavy vehicles stopped, with 13 of the defects assessed as major.

This included a fully loaded truck carrying an estimated 22 tonnes and operating on only 50 per cent of its brake capacity.

"The South Eastern Freeway has seen fatal crashes and a number of near misses, due to poor vehicle maintenance and drivers not using the appropriate gear to negotiate the descent," Kameniar says

"We acknowledge the majority of those involved in the heavy vehicle industry are doing the right thing, but we can't have a situation where drivers and their employers are sacrificing public safety for economic deadlines.

"We already have one company director before the courts charged with negligent manslaughter over failing to maintain his vehicles. We certainly don't want any more."

Meanwhile, in Wingfield, 178 vehicles were inspected, 46 were defected including 14 for major defects and 32 for minor defects.

There were three severely overweight heavy vehicles and one severely overweight light vehicle.

Defects included a dangerously shredded tyre.

Of the drivers, 68 were tested for alcohol and drugs, of which two tested positive to drugs.

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