'Thickheads' on notice for flouting over-height restrictions

NSW Government lambasts trucking operators for ignoring over-height restrictions, and warns: "If you hurt our asset, we will hurt yours"

'Thickheads' on notice for flouting over-height restrictions
'Thickheads' on notice for flouting over-height restrictions
By Brad Gardner | October 30, 2013

The warning has gone out to the "thickheads" of the trucking industry they will be targeted if they insist on ignoring vehicle over-height restrictions in New South Wales.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay has lambasted operators that fail to heed the restrictions. The State introduced severe penalties earlier this year to encourage compliance.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) recently deregistered a truck for three months after it struck the Eastern Distributor Tunnel, while a Western Australia-registered rig was barred from NSW roads for three months for causing the closure of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.

The RMS also suspended the registrations of two trucks for 28 days for closing the Sydney Harbour Tunnel for almost 20 minutes in separate incidents.

"The Government is going after the operators with a simple message: You are responsible for a truck’s route and informing your driver of the appropriate route. If you hurt our asset, we will hurt yours," Gay says.

"I am putting this message out in the hope that it gets through to the thickheads who are not putting their brain into gear before they put their truck into gear. I do not want to suspend the registration on any more trucks. It is not something Roads and Maritime Services happily does. It is something I would rather not have to do again."

Gay introduced a new law in July permitting the RMS to deregister a truck for up to three months. But he concedes the intent of the reforms are not getting through to everyone in the industry.

"A small number of rogue operators in the heavy vehicle industry continue to flout public safety and enter Sydney tunnels with over-height vehicles," Gay says.

"Despite tough penalties on drivers, with fines currently over $2,200 and six demerit points, the message still was not getting through to some of the thickheads. Over-height trucks keep disobeying the warning signs and signals and entering tunnels such as the Eastern Distributor and the Sydney Harbour Tunnel."

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