Truck raids uncover serious breaches: NSW Police

NSW Police says raids on Fred’s Interstate Transport and Damorange uncovered serious breaches, including speed tampering and brake chamber cracks

Truck raids uncover serious breaches: NSW Police
Truck raids uncover serious breaches: NSW Police

March 28, 2012

Coordinated raids on two trucking companies yesterday have uncovered serious breaches ranging from speed limiter tampering to brake defects, according to NSW Police.

Police and officers from the Roads and Maritime Services targeted Victorian-based firms Fred’s Interstate Transport and Damorange after trucks belonging to both companies were allegedly caught speeding.

Dubbed Operation Discovery, authorities blitzed the Sydney and Victorian premises of Fred’s and the Werribee headquarters of Damorange. Vehicles were also pulled over and subjected to compliance checks, along with truck drivers.

NSW Police says it has tagged 41 trucks from both companies for mechanical inspection and examination, with investigations so far resulting in 11 trucks displaying evidence of tampering with speed limiters and electronic control units (ECU), and brake chamber cracks.

"Over the course of the day, trucks from a number of other companies were also inspected with over 25 drivers tested for drug use. Two returned positive drug tests," NSW Police says in a statement.

With the recent crackdown on the trucking industry revealing a litany of alleged heavy vehicle breaches, NSW Police operations commander Stuart Smith says the force is concerned by the disregard some operators and drivers have for the safety of other motorists.

"A truck travelling at 140km/h and weighing between 40 and 60 tonnes could not stop in an acceptable distance, nor would the driver be able to take evasive action in the event of a road incident," Smith says.

"Recent tragedies on the state’s roads serve to highlight just how little room for error there is when you are behind the wheel of a truck. This is about speed and mass. When a truck is speeding and loses control, the safety of the driver and numerous other motorists is put at extreme risk."

Echoing comments from the Roads and Maritime Services, Smith says the practice of tampering with speed limiters must stop. He says any company found guilty can expect to be fined up to $16,000 for each offence.

Operation Discovery was prompted following an incident on March 23 when a Fred’s-owned B-double was allegedly detected travelling at 130km/h on the Hume Highway near Albury.

Along with the recent actions against Lennons and Scott's of Mt Gambier, the latest raid has received widespread media attention and a stern warning from NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay.

"If you are operating illegally, we are going to get you," he told the ABC’s 7.30 programme yesterday.

"We are putting a clear message out there, if you do the wrong thing we're going to get you. And I don't know how dumb some of these people are because we're not going to stop. We are continuing to get them and we're not backing off."

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