NSW authorities target unsecured loads on trucks

RMS and police join forces to enforce vehicle standards and crack down on unsecured loads and speeding offences

August 29, 2012

New South Wales authorities have targeted unsecured loads at Port Botany’s container terminal and other locations throughout Sydney in the wake of recent incidents involving trucks where freight has shifted.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and NSW Police have again joined forces to target the trucking industry, this time under the banner of Operation Steel which centred on enforcing load restraint regulations, vehicle standards and speed laws.

The campaign began on 6am on August 28 and ended at midnight. It is the first operation to target inadequately restrained loads. As of yesterday afternoon authorities had inspected 161 vehicles, handing out 58 defect notices to trucks for not meeting roadworthiness requirements.

Another 20 infringement notices have been issued for excessive load dimensions, worn tyres, seatbelt offences, damaged headlights and driver mobile phone use. However, the 255 random breath tests and 24 roadside drug tests all returned negative results.

NSW Police Superintendent Stuart Smith says trucks with poorly restrained loads have the potential to seriously injure or kill innocent people.

"There is very little room for error when it comes to large trucks carrying heavy loads. Trucks make up less than one in 20 vehicle registrations in NSW, yet they are involved in almost one in five road fatalities," he says.

"Crashes involving heavy vehicles are far more likely to be serious, so it is of paramount importance that truck companies and truck drivers take extra care to ensure their vehicles comply with the speed limits, vehicle standards and load restraint guidelines set by the RMS."

NSW Police says Operation Steel was launched following investigations into two recent crashes where load-shift within trucks was allegedly a contributing factor.

The first incident occurred about 10.45am June 28 when a semi-trailer carrying a shipping container – laden with tonnes of wood – rolled over at the intersection of the Cumberland and Hume highways. The load fell onto a passing car, killing the driver.

The second incident occurred on July 10 when a B-double carrying freight containers was involved in a crash on the Princes Highway at Sylvania. The freight containers fell off the truck’s trailers, leading to significant vehicle damage and traffic disruptions.

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