Greens lend voice to council's truck ban request

Victorian Greens says "failure" of current enforcement of safety standards demonstrates need to ban all large trucks

By Brad Gardner | October 17, 2013

Calls for trucks to be banned from residential streets in Melbourne’s west are growing louder, with the Greens joining Maribyrnong Council in demanding the move.

Colleen Hartland, who holds a seat in Victoria’s Legislative Council, referred to a recent audit of Cootes Transport to justify the ban.

Cootes was subjected to safety audits in New South Wales and Victoria after one of its tankers rolled in Sydney on October 1 and killed two people.

"Here in Victoria 128 Cootes trucks were inspected, and 48 were taken off the road due to safety concerns. This clearly indicates a failure of current enforcement of safety standards for trucks," Hartland says.

"I share Maribyrnong City Council’s concerns for the safety of the inner west, and I support its call for an immediate ban on all large trucks on local roads in the city of Maribyrnong, especially roads containing schools and community facilities, pending a full audit of safety compliance controls and associated regulatory enforcement undertaken by VicRoads."

Maribyrnong Council’s roads carry thousands of heavy vehicles, which use the inner west to travel to and from the Port of Melbourne.

Hartland is critical of the State Government for not introducing measures to reduce the level of truck traffic, such as a truck bypass the previous government proposed.

"Despite the increasing numbers of trucks on these residential streets, this government has done nothing to progress solutions which we know will take these trucks off residential streets, in turn making them safe," Hartland says.

The council earlier this week argued a ban was necessary until VicRoads audited truck companies in the area to determine if their vehicles met safety standards.

Cootes was enrolled in the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) in Victoria when the crash happened.

The Cootes crash has also led to calls in NSW for mandatory tracking devices to be fitted to trucks.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay has asked his department to look at the feasibility of requiring dangerous goods vehicles to enrol in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP), but the Opposition wants the policy to apply to all trucks.

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