Operation Shield uncovers serious defects in trucking fleets

Authorities have uncovered a number of vehicle defects and drug offences during a 24-hour operation targeting trucks in New South Wales.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and NSW Police joined forces as part of Operation Shield to inspect heavy vehicles between December 10 and December 11.

Authorities stationed themselves at seven inspection stations on the Hume, Pacific, New England, Newell, Sturt and Princes highways for the operation, which involved 665 random drug tests and 1,835 breath tests.

"During Operation Shield, we identified drug-affected, fatigued drivers, faulty equipment and trucks capable of travelling well above the allowable speed limit for heavy vehicles," NSW Assistant Commissioner John Hartley says.

"Consider for a moment the potentially deadly consequences of any combination of those factors.

"This is exactly the kind of behaviour we have been targeting in recent heavy-vehicle operations in order to avoid families losing loved ones to road trauma, especially in the lead-up to Christmas."

Fourteen truck drivers tested positive to drugs. One female driver at Chinderah tested positive to alcohol, with another driver found carrying drug paraphernalia in his vehicle.

Officers checked 313 speed limiters and found 37 were faulty or tampered with. One had been set to a maximum potential speed of 130km/h.

Three speed limiters belonged to one operator.

Some 1,304 prime movers and 1,600 trailers were tested, resulting in 336 mechanical defects and 218 defect notices.

Faulty brakes, inoperable lights and bald tyres were some of the major defects, while overweight, over-height and unsafe loads were also detected.

One driver was suspended and another caught taking inadequate rest breaks. Two vehicles were grounded.

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