Authorities get tough on trucking in southern NSW

Police highlight vehicle roadworthiness and driver behaviour as key concerns following conclusion of three-day operation targeting heavy vehicles

May 27, 2013

Police in New South Wales have highlighted vehicle roadworthiness and driver behaviour as key concerns following the conclusion of a three-day operation targeting heavy vehicles.

NSW Police and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) officers stopped 2,563 heavy vehicles as part of Operation South, which focused on the southern region of the State last week.

Police and the RMS issued 178 defect notices, 250 traffic infringement notices, and laid 97 charges, which included fatigue offences.

Out of 284 engine control module downloads, 52 were found to be non-compliant, which equates to 18 percent of all tested.

"The biggest issues we came across involved the roadworthiness of vehicles. Brakes, as well as body and chassis issues, and issues with speed limiting engine control modules were among the most concerning," NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Assistant Commissioner John Hartley says.

"It was also disappointing to still see so many truck drivers speeding and failing to take adequate fatigue breaks. It’s a recipe for disaster and police will continue to target this dangerous behaviour on roads where it has been found to be particularly prevalent, such as the Newell Highway."

Hartley says more needs to be done by drivers and operators to improve general compliance with driver behaviour and vehicle maintenance.

Police also conducted 1,078 drug tests, with 13 drivers returning a positive result for drugs, mostly methamphetamine.

The operation was run as part of the annual Austrans campaign, which targets heavy vehicle compliance throughout May and June. Conducted since 1989, the campaign involves police agencies and transport departments across Australia and New Zealand.

NSW Police says it will work with the RMS during Austrans to focus on speeding, fatigue, drink/drug driving and load restraint offences.

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