Triple breach of Galston Gorge length rule


Anger as trucks were spotted ignoring safe distance warning signs along NSW’s Galston Gorge

Triple breach of Galston Gorge length rule
Truck drivers face heavy fines and possible loss of licence if caught driving over-length vehicles through Galston Gorge.

 

Authorities in New South Wales have taken aim at truck drivers ignoring over-length signs on Galston Gorge and warned them they risk losing their livelihood, after three trucks were caught in quick succession breaching length restrictions last week.

The first incident occurred about 10am when cameras identified a truck and dog combination measuring 15.2m travelling on the gorge — more than double the permitted maximum length of 7.5 metres.

While inspecting the truck, officers from NSW Police and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) were then notified of another truck — a concrete aggregator — travelling through the gorge believed to be over length and struggling to navigate the bends.

As police were escorting the vehicle they encountered a rigid truck travelling westbound into the gorge.

Both vehicles met on a hairpin bend about 12pm and caused significant traffic delays while police stopped traffic to turn the second vehicle around.

After escorting both vehicles out of the gorge, police measured the aggregator at 9.5m in length and the rigid at 11.1m long.

All three drivers were each fined $2,196 and docked six demerit points, but NSW Police says further penalties including registration or licence suspension may be considered.

"Despite significant signage warnings, measuring bays either at side of the gorge, and camera systems, we are still seeing numerous truck drivers taking the risk on the gorge," NSW Police assistant commissioner John Hartley says.

"The length restriction is in place at this location for the safety of truck drivers and all other road users, as longer vehicles can easily become stuck, potentially causing a crash and almost definitely creating significant traffic delays.

"Not only is it selfish for any driver of an over-length vehicle to use this route, it is an offence.

"In addition to the financial penalty, the driver may also place his or her license, truck, trailer and livelihood in jeopardy."

RMS general manager of compliance operations Paul Endycott says the number of over-length trucks travelling through the gorge is frustrating.

"There are 13 signs on the approaches to Galston Gorge and they are not there for decoration," he says.

"Not only could these drivers create lengthy and unnecessary delays for other road users, they are putting their own safety at risk."

Authorities have erected cameras at the gorge to record the details over every over-length truck entering.

Endycott says the RMS has a zero tolerance stance toward offenders and will continue to prosecute drivers who ignore restrictions.

"We will apply the full force of the law, including possible rego and licence suspensions for up to three months," he says.

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