SA Police out in force for Austrans

Police emphasise the need for operators and drivers to meet their responsibilities.


The first week of a police operation in South Australia has seen more than 470 heavy vehicles inspected.

Operation Austrans, which runs to June 8, has led to 472 trucks being checked of which 162 were given expiation notices and 145 were found with defects.

Another three drivers have tested positive to methamphetamine and 80 were given cautions.

"We urge heavy vehicle drivers and companies to ensure they are complying with the law and their industry regulation for safety’s sake as well as to avoid significant penalties," Superintendent Bob Fauser says.

"National research shows that heavy trucks and buses make up only 3 per cent of vehicle fleet but are involved in 18 per cent of all road fatalities and over 200 deaths each year."

More than 230 people involved in 192 truck crashes died during the 12 months to the end of June last year.

Fatal crashes involving articulated trucks are up by 6.8 per cent in the past three years, Fauser says.

Deaths involving rigid trucks are also on the rise – up by 8.1 per cent.

"Heavy vehicle driver fatigue is one of the biggest contributing factors to crashes," he adds.

"We know drivers may feel pressure to meet strict deadlines, leading them to sometimes continue driving when they should pull over for a rest.

"This is very dangerous for the driver and all other road users. Police will be watching for fatigue and will take action to prevent heavy vehicle drivers suspected or suffering fatigue from continuing their journey and endangering themselves and other road uses.

"Heavy vehicle drivers and their companies have enormous responsibility to do the right thing – as the mass of one of the vehicles in a crash increases, so does the severity of the crash."

Operation Austrans also focuses on drug and alcohol misuse, seat belts, distraction and dangerous driving. 

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