Police concerned with results from heavy vehicle campaign

NSW Police says results from Operation Austrans are concerning, with publicised actions against heavy vehicles failing to curb dangerous behaviour

June 13, 2012

NSW Police has expressed concern with the results from a targeted month-long campaign against heavy vehicles, with recent publicised actions against the trucking industry failing to curb dangerous behaviour.

NSW Police says it intercepted 21,947 heavy vehicles during Operation Austrans, which was conducted on a national basis to enforce regulation and compliance in the heavy vehicle sector.

Officers worked with inspectors from the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) targeting speeding, fatigue, drink and drug driving and load restraint offences.

Of the vehicles intercepted, 535 drivers were done for speeding, with 499 defects issued. NSW Police says there were 210 seatbelt offences and 118 instances of unlicensed, suspended or disqualified drivers behind the wheel.

Police Superintendent Stuart Smith says many of the results are of great concern to police.

"Despite our well publicised efforts during operations Marshall, Discovery, Overland and Octagon, there were a small number of operators that we caught engaging in speeding practices and in doing so we also identified evidence of speed tampering," he says.

However, the number of drink driving and drug driving offences was considerably low. Police detected 10 drink driving offences out of 21,626 tests. Of the 538 drug driving tests, 10 drivers were found will illicit substances in their systems.

NSW Police says there were 1,087 work diary offences, ranging from exceeding driving hours, failing to produce records and failing to complete work diary pages. Furthermore, there were 14 dangerous goods or occupational health and safety (OHS) offences.

NSW Police says 13 trucks exceeded mass limits, while 57 vehicles were done for breaching dimension requirements. Officers also detected 149 load restrain offences.

Smith says NSW Police and the RMS will continue to work together to enforce heavy vehicle regulation and compliance to reduce road injuries and fatal crashes.

Operation Austrans is an annual campaign that runs throughout the month of May across Australia and New Zealand targeting safety issues in the heavy vehicle sector.

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