NSW compliance chief praises Scott’s for cooperation on speeding offences

By: Steve Skinner and Rob McKay


Scott’s Transport engaged with road regulator to show improvements the company was making.

NSW compliance chief praises Scott’s for cooperation on speeding offences
Paul Endycott says the RMS seriously started to tackle speeding after a fatal crash involving Lennons Transport.

 

The head of heavy vehicle compliance in New South Wales has praised the cooperation shown by Scott’s of Mount Gambier during and after a controversial speeding case.

In May last year a NSW local court magistrate fined Scott’s Transport Industries around $1.2 million after the company pleaded guilty to 165 speeding offences under chain of responsibility law.

That penalty was an Australian record at the time, but it was subsequently reduced to just $85,000 after the company appealed the ruling.

The RMS targeted Scott’s after one of its trucks, with a new driver at the helm, was caught doing 142 km/h at the bottom of a hill on the Hume Freeway near Sydney in March 2012.

RMS general manager of compliance Paul Endycott says Scott’s was "quite cooperative" with the RMS throughout its long investigation.

"Coming out the end of that, the company much to its credit has engaged with us to show us what they’re doing to improve from where they were when we first contacted them after that vehicle was intercepted speeding," he adds.

Endycott makes no apology for the Scott’s case, and he clearly rates speeding over-runs down hills more seriously than the District Court judge who drastically reduced the fine.

Many of the 165 speeding offences were freeway hill over-runs at less than 110 km/h. Scott’s vehicles had only received infringement notices for 15 of the 165 incidents.

Endycott says the RMS seriously started to tackle speeding after a fatal crash on the Hume Highway at the Menangle Bridge near Sydney in January 2012, just a couple of months before the 142 km/h Scott’s incident.

A Lennons Transport B-double crossed onto the wrong side of the freeway, crashed through a guardrail and slammed head-on into a car, killing three members of the same family.

After that tragedy Endycott asked his team to go through the Safe-T-Cam system, which is used to enforce driving hours but which can also measure speed.

The result, he says, was more than 65,000 heavy vehicles a month going through camera enforcement sites at more than 115 km/h.

"We don’t say this very much but when you go through Safe-T-Cam, they don’t enforce speed," Endycott says.

"They do measure it, because we’ve got to identify the vehicle on the way through…things that trigger the cameras measure speed too.

"We had a look at that and said ‘sh*t, this is really bad’, so we started our compliance campaigns in intercepting trucks which were speeding, we were using that information to target them and look at them…random operations, and then more point-to-point cameras which are the ones that do (enforce) the average speed."

There are now 24 of these point-to-point cameras in NSW.

Endycott says the statistics show the anti-speeding blitz has saved lives and has resulted in a dramatic drop in speeding.

"It’s like introducing random breath testing," he says.

"A 93 per cent reduction in two and half years. It’s under 4,500 a month now going through the gantries above 100 km/h…the instances of 110[km/h] has just about disappeared."

You can read more on the Scott’s case in the May issue of Owner//Driver.

 

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