Truckies caught out in police blitz

Truck drivers have been caught up in a police blitz targeting drug driving, speed and fatigue

May 23, 2011

Truck drivers have been caught up in a police blitz targeting drug driving, speed and fatigue, with 27 drivers done for taking drugs in Victoria.

Operation Austrans, which began this month and targets speed, drugs and fatigue-related offences, caught 40 drivers speeding after inspecting 2,159 heavy vehicles and conducting 800 road side drugs tests.

Some 203 drivers were busted for work diary offences after exceeding work hours. Another 43 were given notices for heavy vehicle safety breaches.

A 43-year-old driver was intercepted in a B-double tanker in the Yarrawonga area after exceeding legal driving hours. He also tested positive to an amphetamines drug test.

More than130 drivers were detected in Shepparton for heavy vehicle offences, with 44 of those exceeding driving hours. Six were fined for not making diary entries, with another 13 caught for breaching their diary requirements.

A total of 103 trucks were inspected by police, with 50 notices issued. In Echuca, 95 truck drivers were slapped with fines. This included 23 for exceeding working hours and19 for failing to enter details in a work diary.

Operation Austrans commander Superintendant Neville Taylor says police worked across the Bairnsdale, Horsham and Hamilton areas.

"This operation is being conducted across Australia for the entire month of May," he says.

"Results so far show that while most heavy vehicle operators we have inspected are doing the right thing there are still a number of operators who aren’t. And it’s those operations we are targeting.

"It’s disappointing to be detecting such a large number of offences among the people that drive on our roads professionally – this is their workplace. They need to be ensuring the roads are safe not only for themselves but all road users."

Motorists should also take care while sharing the roads with heavy vehicles, Taylor says.

"These vehicles don’t have the same braking ability and vision of the road as cars and other road users need to be aware of this vision when they are sharing the road with heavy vehicles."

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