Distribution centres getting better on heavy vehicle compliance

NSW road authority says improvements being made, but some still ignore fatigue management.

Distribution centres getting better on heavy vehicle compliance
NSW Police and the Roads and Maritime Services inspected trucks over five days as part of Operation Hydra.


Distribution centres in New South Wales are improving their approach to heavy vehicle compliance, despite authorities uncovering serious breaches during a recent campaign.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and NSW Police wrapped up Operation Hydra on October 23, which scrutinised trucks at distribution centres for evidence of non-compliance.

Both agencies inspected 1,004 trucks and trailers in total and handed out defects for mainly minor issues (only 21 major faults were detected).

RMS director of safety and compliance Peter Wells says there were encouraging signs of improvement at some sites.

"It is clear that some distribution centre executives are taking this seriously. We are occasionally now finding sites that are well-managed for chain of responsibility and road transport," Wells says.

"However, it is still clear others are not being well-managed for safe and compliant operations of truck transport. Of serious concern we found 10 trucks with non-compliant speed limiters to enable them to illegally speed more than 100 km/h, as well as 21 major defects.

"Driver fatigue at some sites was not being managed well at all."

Wells says the RMS will now engage with senior executives at the distribution centres inspected to provide them with detailed advice on ensuring they meet their obligations.

NSW Police assistant commissioner John Hartley says campaigns like Operation Hydra are critical to changing poor truck driver behaviour across NSW.

"Given that 63 per cent, or 256 million tonnes, of Australia's road freight is passing through NSW, we need to do everything we can to ensure trucks are being driven lawfully," he says.

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