Operation Impact shows bad minority challenge remains


One egregious offender highlighted by authorities and TWU

Operation Impact shows bad minority challenge remains
Non-compliance annoys police, the RMS and the TWU.

 

The two-day Operation Impact blitz has wrapped up with one particularly example of bad practice taking some attention away from others.

The heavy vehicle compliance effort was held in the Pine Creek, Eden and Bega areas.

At Pine Creek Safety Station, officers stopped a tip truck and found both rear drive axel cover plates to be missing, exposing the hub and wheel bearings and allowing oil to leak onto the road, police say.

The unnamed driver, a 52-year-old man, was given a major red label defect, resulting in his truck being towed.

He was also issued an infringement notice for use on road vehicle that is unsafe.

"The operator of the truck was also issued an infringement notice for, permit to be used on road a heavy vehicle that is unsafe.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said it was fortunate this truck was identified and taken off our roads.

"A truck in this condition presents real risks for the safety of other road users," ," Hartley said

"The driver, and operator, should not take their business or our roads for granted."

The discovery prompted the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) to call upon its state government to take action against "dodgy operators in dodgy trucks".

Describing the driver's actions as a race to the bottom, TWU NSW acting secretary Richard Olsen says "mum and dad tip truck drivers… are being squeezed out of the industry" by operators flaunting the rules.

"Dangerously low rates, cowboy operators and a total lack of regulation in the tip truck industry are a ticking time bomb," Olsen says.

"Mum and dad tip truck drivers who play by the rules are being run out of business by dodgy operators.

"These dodgy operators tender at rock bottom prices to win the work and then cut corners on safety, maintenance and fatigue to balance the books."

 

Roads and Maritime general manager compliance operations Paul Endycott says it was disappointing there are a few heavy vehicle drivers and operators putting lives at risk.

"Operating heavy vehicles in NSW is not a right, it is a privilege, part of that privilege is to ensure vehicles are operated safely and in a roadworthy condition," Endycott says.

"We have made the message very clear, any truck can be randomly inspected so it is only a matter of time before the minority law-breakers are caught out and taken off road."

Operation Impact ran June 20-22 and the upshot was:

  • 918 trucks and trailers were intercepted
  • 122 defects were applied for 303 identified faults which included brakes, suspension, body and chassis, oil and fuel leaks, steering, wheels and tyres, and exhaust and noise
  • 22 defects were major requiring immediate rectification
  • 96 defects were minor allowing future repairs pending further inspection
  • Out of 34 engine control module downloads on trucks, seven were found to be non-compliant, allowing speeds over 100kph
  • Out of 1,008 random breath tests there were no positive results
  • Out of 365 random drug tests, 17 drivers returned positive results, which included a 25 year old female provisional driver, with her 10 month old son in the vehicle. She was banned from driving for 24 hours, and issued infringements for not complying with conditions in driving a manual vehicle, and not displaying P plates
  • 185 infringements and 16 court attendance notices were issued for various licence, registration, load and fatigue offences.

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