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RMS workshop promotes container freight compliance

RMS puts the onus on trucking industry to address "culture of tolerating non-compliance" with road rules

October 30, 2012

The New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has held an industry workshop to promote safety and compliance in the container freight sector.

About 65 industry representatives attended the workshop held last week with NSW Police and Sydney Ports.

RMS Customer and Compliance Director Peter Wells says raising awareness about safe load restraint, speed limiter and speeding compliance, and fatigue management were key discussions at the workshop.

“The industry was asked to recognise the importance of all participants in the chain of responsibility playing their part in the safe loading of containers and maintenance of roadworthy vehicles,” Wells says.

“Heavy vehicle drivers and vehicle owners themselves are badly affected by incidents involving containers and should be working with RMS and NSW Police to ensure greater levels of compliance from others in the chain of responsibility.”

Wells says a key aim of the workshop was to change industry culture and belief that promotes unrestrained loads in containers.

“The dramatic and costly result of such an incident was demonstrated in July when a container carrying unrestrained scrap metal fell from a truck spewing more than nine tonnes of rolled wire on to the road and causing significant damage to Tom Uglys Bridge,” he says.

NSW Police also addressed the forum about their ongoing enforcement operations and the prevalence of heavy vehicle operators driving under the influence of illicit drugs.

The workshop followed the recent completion of Operation Steel, which was initiated after several road safety incidents and fatalities.

According to Wells, during Operation Steel found trucks leaving Port Botany with unsecured loads and in one instance a container truck had its load secured by just one locking pin, instead of the four required.

“It was also very disappointing to find defect rates above 40 percent during the operation, demonstrating there is not enough professionalism and respect for basic safety and the law,” Wells says.

“All owners need to ensure they maintain their trucks in good condition as required by law and RMS and police will increase their enforcement focus until there is a strong fall in this defect rate.

“The industry needs to address its culture of tolerating non-compliance among some operators and we thank those operators who are taking a leadership role in engaging on this important issue.”

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