Victoria Police to focus on bad operators

Aberrant behaviour and cutting corners will not be tolerated

By Ruza Zivkusic | May 3, 2011

Victoria Police put transport operators and drivers on notice at today’s public launch of Operation Austrans in the state.

Supported by the Victorian Transport Association, the police made plain they were on a mission to change the transport industry’s culture on drugs, fatigue, speed and safety and they pledged that those caught will be punished.

Road Policing Superintendant Neville Taylor is urging those employed by transport operators to speak up if their companies are performing poorly.

Taylor says bad cultures in certain companies need to be changed.

"We can make it very difficult for companies to operate who do not do the right thing," Taylor says.

"A lot of our work is intelligence stuff, which comes from all sorts of sources and that includes drivers.

"The drivers are encouraged to speak up and to report [bad driver behaviour] back to the yard rather than try to hide it.

"We are looking at the bigger picture and it is important for us to know what we can focus on."

Police say they will focus on the Western Highway, Hamilton, Princes Freeway Hume Freeway, Calder Freeway and South Gippsland Highway.

Taylor acknowledges that tough times in the industry could lead to aberrant behaviour and cutting corners but insists that this will be a focus on police efforts during the annual Austrans effort.

"The pressures on heavy vehicle operators could lead to the temptation to tamper with speed limiter devices and illicit drug use," he says.

"Police will be out for the month checking work diaries and drug testing drivers to ensure our roads are safe for all road users.

"The majority of heavy vehicle operators are doing the right thing.

"However, there are still a number of operators who aren’t managing this and those operators we are targeting."

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