Victoria Police forms new transport section as Austrans looms


Heavy Vehicle Unit will join the Major Collision Investigation Group under the Transport and Investigations Section

May 17, 2013

With this year’s Operation Austrans due to start on Monday, Victoria Police has undertaken a restructure of it heavy vehicle enforcement resources.

The Heavy Vehicle Unit will join the Major Collision Investigation Group under the Transport and Investigations Section of the Road Policing Command.

The new section will see an enhanced focus on chain of responsibility offences in the lead up to the introduction of the uniform Heavy Vehicle National Law across Australia, according to Victoria Police.

Working for a month annually and nationally, Operation Austrans will target fatigue, speeding, drug use and other driver behaviour issues on major highways.

Superintendent Neville Taylor says the operation reinforces the opportunities for joint enforcement and chain of responsibility work with other agencies including VicRoads and Worksafe.

"We know heavy vehicle safety is an industry wide issue, not just a police one," Taylor says.

"When we ran this operation in May last year, we detected 665 fatigue related offences and 135 chain of responsibility offences against company owners, operators and consigners.

"We are continuing to work with our road safety partners and an example of this partnership was this month’s Operation Trishula, which saw VicRoads intercept 218 heavy vehicles and issue 182 defect notices over a five day period."

Taylor says 44 people died in collisions involving heavy vehicles in 2012, a decrease of 4 percent.

"Across Australia during the 12 months to the end of June 2012, 225 people died from 200 crashes involving heavy trucks or buses," he adds.

Police from the Heavy Vehicle Unit, with the support of the State Highway Patrol and regional highway patrol units, will be focusing on heavy vehicle routes on the state’s major highways, including the Western Highway, Hume Freeway and South Gippsland Highway.

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