No fatigue fines issued after F3 delay, NSW says

NSW Government rejects TWU claims that truck drivers were hit with fatigue breaches following F3 delays

April 15, 2010

The NSW Government has rubbished claims that truck drivers stuck for hours on the F3 after a crash were slapped with fatigue management breaches.

Transport Minister David Campbell says no fatigue infringement notices were issued to truck drivers travelling northbound on the F3, which was brought to a standstill for more than eight hours after a heavy vehicle crash on April 12.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) claims at least four drivers delayed by the accident received fines from Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) officers for not taking their required rest break.

Campbell says no fines were issued northbound on the F3 between 8am and midnight on the day of the incident.

Four fines were issued between 8am and 4pm for vehicle defects and another two for overloading offences.

Campbell says the Government is working with the TWU to resolve its concerns.

"We’ve contacted the TWU to work through identifying any drivers who may have been affected from the flow on of the delay," he says.

"If any fine was issued as a result of the delay - and happened after midnight or further down the freeway or on another arterial road - then it won’t have to be paid."

He says the TWU has been contacted to determine where the vehicles actually were.

Campbell says advice from the RTA indicates the vehicles were not in the direct area affected by the delay.

The crash on the F3 occurred after a flat-bed truck collided with a full tanker.

Premier Kristina Keneally stood down the RTA CEO, Michael Bushby, and announced an independent investigation into the incident.

To be led by the state’s former police commissioner, Ken Moroney, the inquiry will look at the failures in the RTA’s decision-making processes and what needs to be done to ensure future incidents are handled more effectively.

"The Government recognises that the traffic delays on the F3 on 12 April 2010 caused great distress and inconvenience to motorists and their families," a statement accompanying the inquiry’s terms of reference reads.

Moroney will look at the information at was given to motorists, the actions the RTA took to keep people informed, inter-agency cooperation, how arrangements to get traffic flowing were implemented and what improvements could be made.

No date has been set for the completion of the inquiry, with Moroney to submit the report in a timeframe agreed to with the NSW director general.

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