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TfNSW adds insight into compliance statistics

Truck-and-dog battle and empty loads crash spikes addressed


Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) has given an insight into the scale of the truck-and-dog compliance task following recent concerning data of the sector’s rate.

It has also sought to clarify a spike in fatal crashes involving trucks with no load.

With Sydney at the centre of an unprecedented infrastructure build there has never been more truck-and-dog combinations on its roads.

This has led to something of a compliance crisis, with commentary that comes with the release of TfNSW’s NSW heavy truck fatal crashes statistics revealing that, while the Sydney truck-and-dog compliance rate was up four per cent in the past year, this put it at only 61 per cent, or less than two-thirds.

This was against a statewide truck-and-dog rate of 64 per cent, lowered marginally by the Sydney performance.

In part of its response, Transport for NSW carried out a six month operation between May and October this year involving the Sydney truck and dog sector with the following results:  

  • 3,129 heavy vehicle units were inspected with 930 defect notices issued: 
  • 9 major grounded defects 
  • 60 major defects with most relating to faulty brakes  
  • 690 minor defects 
  • 4 formal warnings 
  • 167 self-clearing defects 
  • 256 over-mass offences, with 220 directions to secure/adjust load issued. 

“A range of other offences were also identified, including unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles,” a TfNSW spokesperson tells ATN.

TfNSW deputy secretary safety, environment and regulation Tara McCarthy revels the sector will be a departmental focus next year. 

Read about the latest statistics on NSW fatal crashes, here

Regarding unloaded fatal truck crash spike, from nine to 20, the department sees it as something of statistical issue.

“The numbers of heavy trucks involved in fatal crashes with nil load are relatively small and can be subject to a high degree of statistical variation from one year to the next,” it says.

“In this case, the number more than doubled from nine in 2019 to 20 in 2020, an increase of 2.2 times. 

“However, 2019 was an unusually low statistic as the 2020 result is similar to the 2017 statistic of 17 heavy trucks with nil load involved in fatal crashes. 

“The results of 2019 and 2020 do not indicate a significant trend as further analysis of crash statistics over a longer period of time, including different types of heavy truck, would be required for a trend to be identified.” 


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