Australia, Transport News

NSW overheight truck incidents fall to lowest in seven years

Since focusing on restricting the impact of overheight truck incidents in Sydney’s tunnels, the NSW government has seen impressive results

The NSW government has announced that incidents involving overheight trucks have dropped to their lowest level in the state since 2017 as the government continues to work with the trucking industry to reduce traffic-clogging incidents in Sydney’s tunnels.

Last year overheight truck incidents rose to a high of 161, with this year’s dipping down to 107 so far.

The state government says detections in 2023 peaked in June but have since trended down following the government introducing a zero-tolerance approach, including six-month registration bans for offending trucks and the establishment of an industry-wide overheight vehicle taskforce led by Transport for NSW (TfNSW).

Under a deal with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in June, all overheight vehicle incidents in tunnels are now being referred straight to TfNSW for sanction.

Since this, there were four overheight incidents recorded in November, compared to 25 in November last year.

The Sydney Harbour Tunnel has historically been most impacted by these breaches and has recorded a 22 per cent decrease this year, while the M5 East Tunnel has also seen a 65 per cent reduction in incidents and the Lane Cove Tunnel has decreased in incidents by 43 per cent.

Through this decrease, TfNSW has stripped 19 heavy vehicles of their registrations, taking them off the roads for up to six months while a further 21 have had their licence suspended.

An investment of $5 million has been invested in infrastructure and improving the Sydney Harbour Tunnel. Improved signage was installed and 31 advertising billboards erected.

“The NSW government was firm in its commitment to stopping overheight trucks shutting down our city and the efforts of Transport for NSW and the industry taskforce has begun to pay off in a busy time of the year for freight,” NSW roads minister John Graham says.

“Incidents are dramatically down in November with just four breaches recorded but we cannot and will not claim the job is done as it still only takes one overheight incident to ruin the day of driver’s all over Sydney.

“The vast majority of truckies and operators do the right thing, but the public have no patience for any unnecessary incidents involving overheight trucks.”

NHVR chairperson Duncan Gay says the regulator’s working relationships are helping to educate drivers to manage overheight incidents in Sydney’s tunnel network.

“The efforts include educating industry through advertising on social media, online, radio and through key trucking channels, developing a brochure which was translated into three languages for NHVR Safety and Compliance officers to hand out at Heavy Vehicle Safety Stations, and investigating other parties in the Chain of Responsibility that may have been contributing to these incidents,” Gay says.

“The NHVR has undertaken 21 Chain of Responsibility investigations into breaches of over height trucks, and these involved investigating the companies that have trucks that breached or nearly breached the tunnel regulations, resulting in four Improvement Notices, to ensure better safety outcomes across the industry.”

Previous ArticleNext Article
Send this to a friend