Upward trend in heavy vehicle breaches worries ANZPAA

Overall figures for Operation Austrans put spotlight on load restraint and speed tampering


While some state authorities gave credit where it was due, the organisation that oversees Operation Austrans has identified worrying trends in the data nationally.

Though the majority of those in the heavy vehicle industry are doing the right thing and upholding their safety and compliance responsibilities, the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA) sees reasons for high vigilance.

"Of the offences detected across both countries, police found 323 individuals driving unlicensed, intercepted 190 drivers at the roadside who were impaired or tested positive for drug driving, identified 3,271 work diary/log book breaches including instances of exceeding work hours and failure to produce documentation, found 1,518 instances of vehicles with improperly restrained loads, as well as 145 trucks detected with speed tampering devices," ANZPAA CEO Jon White says.

"These are worrying numbers, and what is most concerning is that a number of these figures show an upward trend from the previous year.

"Police urge all those who have a role to play – from the driver right up to the operators and contractors – to do all they can to improve compliance and reduce the number of crashes involving heavy vehicles and associated trauma."

Clouding the issue somewhat are the swings in total vehicles checked in Australia and New Zealand, with 81,956 in 2012, 69,159 in 2013 and 93,970 last year, compared with 74,511 this year.

Also, fatigue-related offences, including work-diary breaches and those subject to chain of responsibility (COR) laws, are only in their second year of categorised coverage. However, what can be said is that fatigue-related COR offences did jump to 238 from 116.

On the plus side here, COR mass, dimension and load offence committed by another party, which has been recorded regularly, appears to have continued a steady fall – after rising to a peak of 579 in 2013, it was 110 last year and is 76 this year.

Exceed mass breaches were steady at 1,511, against totals of 1,264, 1,146 and 1,526 over the preceding three years.

This year’s full figures can be found here.

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