Illegal grain haulage practices may incur truck bans, COR prosecutions

By: Brad Gardner, Photography by: Greg Bush


The NSW road authority threatens to pursue parties if they encourage overloading.

Illegal grain haulage practices may incur truck bans, COR prosecutions
RMS general manager of compliance Paul Endycott says NSW will go after Queensland trucking operators if vehicles breach load limits in NSW.

 

Interstate grain haulage trucks caught overloading in New South Wales could be banned from the state, while those receiving the loads may face chain of responsibility prosecutions.

The NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) has flagged the possibility of taking drastic action to prevent further incidents of Queensland-based trucks travelling into NSW and loading grain beyond legal mass limits.

RMS general manager of compliance Paul Endycott spoke to Owner//Driver about the steps the department may take in the wake of a compliance operation that uncovered Queensland trucks loading at higher mass limits (HML) in NSW without accreditation.

"If you continue to commit these offences in NSW and you avail yourself of seeking an unfair commercial advantage, I then have to question if you are a fit and proper person to operate heavy vehicles in NSW and we have the power to withdraw your visiting rights," Endycott tells Owner//Driver.

"In other words, you won’t be allowed to come here. If we need to protect the industry and drive this practice out of it, then that is something that they can be subject to."

Referencing the RMS’s prosecution of Scott’s of Mt Gambier, Endycott says NSW will go after a Queensland trucking operator if one of its vehicles breaches load limits in NSW.

"Scott’s of Mt Gambier is a perfect example. If you’re an operator that commits an offence here in NSW – the offence originated in NSW – I will prosecute you in another state, no problem," he says.

Endycott adds that the RMS can also use chain of responsibility law to target grain handling facilities based in Queensland if it can be proven they played a role in an overloading offence committed in NSW.

"If there is evidence of intent to influence a mass breach here in NSW, there’s recklessness in the way it’s handled or there is negligence, they are triggers in relation to the crime and we will prosecute them," he says.

"They need to do a due diligence and find out where the grain is coming from."

The RMS previously used the threat of travel bans against Cootes Transport for the company’s repeated compliance failures following the fatal 2013 Mona Vale crash.

As Owner//Driver reported, Queensland-based trucks were travelling into NSW, loading to HML without proper accreditation and then attempting dodge the state’s on-road camera surveillance network when returning home with their loads.

While Endycott says he believes the RMS has the problem under control, he concedes it may be more widespread than those who have been caught.

"Possibly. A lot of these people are ducking around. What we are looking at is the movements through that network and while they will be popping around and trying to avoid the surveillance that we have out there, we’re very much alerted to that," he says.

But Endycott has warning for those who think they can us certain routes to avoid camera detection: "Try the back way, see how you go."

 

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