VicRoads: ‘We’re trying to affect their direct income’

By: Cobey Bartels


Road authority targets hip pocket nerve in compliance strategy

VicRoads: ‘We’re trying to affect their direct income’
VicRoads promises to stop the wheels turning of the non-compliant

 

VicRoads says it's going after income by grounding trucks, in an effort to ramp up compliance after discovering companies are factoring infringements into their budgets.

VicRoads manager of transport safety services Russell Greenland outlined the harsh new approach the enforcement agency will take with repeat offendors, when speaking at the ‘Meet the Inspectors’ presentation at the Technical Maintenance Conference (TMC) in Melbourne this week.

While VicRoads is embracing tablet and camera technology to save officers and operators time on the roadside, targeted enforcement will hit repeat offenders harder than ever with heavy financial consequences.

"We’ve got a number of monitoring cameras but we’re behind the pace. NSW and SA have had them for quite some time – it’s been a bit of a black hole in Victoria," Greenland says.

"We intend to have more and we intend to link them up with the other states."

Greenland explains that many companies consider fines to be part of the ‘cost of doing business’ so VicRoads is hitting them where it hurts.


 

Read about the hard VicRoads line on truck drivers, here


 

"We’ve actually found when we’ve actually at some of the organisations that we’ve actually had a closer look into, they’ve actually almost got it as a budget bottom line," Greenland says.

"We’re going to use every opportunity we can to actually affect the way they do business.

"Because they build the fines into their bottom line, we’re actually grounding vehicles on the side of the road.

"So we’re actually affecting their income and that’s what we’re trying to do, we’re trying to affect their direct income.

"We’re looking at indirect cost through loss of income, and the possible cost of failure to meet delivery contracts.

"If they’re not meeting their deadlines you’re upsetting their customers, it’s affecting their branding, there’s a whole lot of things we can do to actually change that behaviour.

"So we’re going to make the cost of non-compliance a lot dearer than the cost of compliance."

When discussing repeat offending truck drivers, Greenland is frank in his statements.

"Repeat offenders will lose their licence and unlicensed drivers will go to jail.

"And we have had a couple go to jail in the last 12 months," he says.

One story Greenland told the audience really highlighted how serious VicRoads are in their focused approach to compliance.

"We had one operator a little while ago that we parked up at Broadford and he said to me, he was carrying steel and some other bits and pieces, he said ‘I can’t move that around so I’ll need to get a crane,’ and I said ‘yeah, that’s probably what you’ll need,’" Greenland says.

"He said ‘well I can’t get a crane for two days,’ and I said ‘well that’s a shame, I hope your driver’s comfortable staying here for two days because that’s what you’re going to be doing’.

"When the crane finally came out a couple of days later one of our guys picked the crane up travelling on the wrong route, so the crane was grounded.

"Eventually three days later the truck moved off.

"He still got the fine and that might be built into their bottom line, but when the wheels of the truck aren’t turning they’re not earning money."

 

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