Operation Hydra throws up DC bouquets and brickbats

NSW authorities say they are pleased and disappointed by what compliance operation has uncovered

Operation Hydra throws up DC bouquets and brickbats
On notice: Peter Wells says the RMS will continue to target distribution centres to enforce safe and compliant practices.


Trucking operations at distribution centres have received a mixed report card to date from a New South Wales heavy vehicle compliance campaign, which wraps up tomorrow.

NSW Police and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) have inspected 504 trucks, trailers and other vehicles since Operation Hydra began on October 19 in response to overheight and load dimension breaches occurring on NSW roads.

The RMS says 126 notices have been issued for defects relating to brakes, body and chassis, wheels and tyres, along with seven notices for breaches of weight and mass, and six directions to secure loads.

Inspections have been carried out at two distribution centres at western Sydney, and RMS director of safety and compliance Peter Wells says there have been positive results, despite the number of notices being issued.

"At one centre it was pleasing to see a marked improvement in compliance since our last visit and we are now able to have professional discussions about ongoing improvement and industry best practice," Wells says.

"The second centre was disappointing – there were systematic fatigue and load restraint issues.

"Roads and Maritime will be meeting with the business’ executives to discuss operation findings in detail."

Wells says authorities will continue to target distribution centres to enforce safe and compliant practices.

He says all parties in the supply chain need to take responsibility for heavy vehicle safety seriously.

"We are now in the lead up to Christmas which is a busy time on the roads with increased risks. It is critical all involved in the heavy vehicle transport industry comply with the law," Wells says.

NSW Police assistant commissioner John Hartley says campaigns like Operation Hydra are focused on changing the behaviour of drivers, owners, operators, loaders and customers.

"Operation Hydra is about preventing serious injury and fatal crashes resulting from poorly maintained and loaded trucks, in some cases operated by drivers who have used drugs, or are fatigued," he says.

"To see loads unsecured, defective vehicles, and drivers testing positive to drugs certainly highlights the need to conduct these joint operations in order to reduce serious injury and fatal crashes on our roads."


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