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SA Police proceeds with Operation Eyre Safe

Compliance operation responds to recent industry shift from rail to road


Having flagged a heavy vehicle compliance focus upon the cessation of a major rail freight service in the state, SA Police conducted Operation Eyre Safe at Lincoln Gap recently.

Operation Eyre Safe was launched in June in response to the increase in heavy vehicle movements on the Eyre Peninsula with the conclusion of the grain train – on behalf of grain-handling business Viterra – which formerly transported harvested grain from silos across the region to the Port Lincoln Port.

All vehicles travelling on the Eyre Highway at Lincoln Gap were stopped and assessed with a focus on drug and drink driving, heavy vehicle compliance, road safety compliance and roadworthiness.

Read more about what prompted Viterra’s rail decision, and police attention, here

Whyalla Police, Eyre Western Highway Patrol, Dog Operations Unit and Road Policing Section were assisted by inspectors from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and DPTI Vehicle Inspections Team. 

Defect notices were issued for 42 vehicles, including a B-double truck with no effective brakes on either trailer.

Police notes it breath-tested nearly 700 drivers, with zero drink driving offences detected – however, eight drivers tested positive to drugs. The samples were sent for forensic testing with five cannabis expiation notices issued.

Operation Eyre Safe will be an ongoing process, SA Police says. 

“It is disappointing that there were heavy vehicles located with significant defects after the amount of community information that has been promulgated by SAPOL in the early part of Operation Eyre Safe,” a police spokesperson tells ATN.  

“Whilst the numbers of these vehicles may be small in overall terms, just one vehicle with faulty brakes or suspension could cause immeasurable suffering within our community. 

“The level of drug driving also continues to cause concern. Operation Eyre Safe will continue to use every opportunity to advise and enforce drivers and operators of all vehicles about the dangers of mixing drugs/alcohol with driving and the need to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy and safe.

“It was pleasing to see the level of good humour displayed by all road users who were stopped and no doubt momentarily inconvenienced by the operation.

“Police also took the opportunity to speak with a number of visiting motorists/caravaners who were advised about what they can expect on Eyre Peninsula highways in terms of the road conditions, opportunities for passing and the numbers of heavy vehicles.”


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