Truck safety blitzes hit their straps


Austrans nationally and StateTrans in NSW uncover common litany of non-compliance

Truck safety blitzes hit their straps
A trailer in the NSW Police spotlight in NSW.

 

Police and road authorities involved in parallel truck compliance operations in two states have reported a string of defects common to such initiatives.

In New South Wales, Operation StateTrans, which is occurring at the same time but is not linked to the national Operation Austrans, has seen 13,806 trucks and trailers inspected in its first week.

NSW authorities report 1609 defects have been applied to trucks and trailers for issues such as braking, fuel and oil leaks, steering, and other mechanical issues.

Officers have also issued 888 infringements and 317 breaches for a range of licence, registration, fatigue, loading, and other offences.

Inspectors have downloaded 321 engine control modules so far during the operation, with 66 found to be non-compliant or tampered with, allowing speeds of over 100km/h on NSW roads.

Of 756 random drug tests, 12 drivers tested positive and were given 24-hour prohibition notices from driving, and are pending further court action.

"While the police and the RMS have jointly inspected over 13,000 trucks in a single week, the industry, and the road users of NSW should take some comfort that the 'bottom 10 per cent' have been identified and taken off our roads," assistant commissioner John Hartley says.

"We know that it is only a small number of drivers, operators, and companies that continually do the wrong thing in an attempt to gain some sort of commercial advantage, which is why our joint work is important in both ensuring, and enforcing, heavy vehicle compliance on our roads."

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) general manager compliance operations Paul Endycott says more than 300 heavy vehicle inspectors and investigators are working alongside NSW police for the month long operation across the state.

"Working in partnership with NSW Police in compliance operations like StateTrans, Roads and Maritime is able to target truck operators and companies who are sending drivers out on the road without the relevant checks and balances," Endycott adds.

Meanwhile, in South Australia, the first week to Sunday of Operation Austrans saw police and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) inspectors issued 422 cautions, expiations and defects, while a 27-year-old man from Para Hills was arrested for driving unlicensed in a semi.

In another case, a 46-year-old man driving a B-double tested positive for drug driving, while a suspected commercial quantity of methyl amphetamine was found in his vehicle.

Inspector Ben Spencer, investigations manager, traffic support branch, says police are also concerned by the number of dangerous defects identified on heavy vehicles this week.

"Of the 155 defect notices issued during the week, 41 were due to tyres, followed by 33 for brakes," Spencer says.

"These figures are concerning given the increase in wet weather we are starting to see in South Australia."

ATN was unable to obtain any figures for speed-limiter tampering in SA.

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