Regulation, Transport Industry News

Operator fined over South Eastern Freeway incident


The sentence has been handed down to a heavy vehicle operator found guilty of a category two offence under Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

A collision occurred on the South Eastern Freeway at Urrbrae in 2022 involving one heavy vehicle and several other vehicles. This resulted in nine people sustaining injuries.

The company and operator received fines of $84,000 and $7000 respectively after their sentence was handed down on February 23 at the Adelaide Magistrates Court.

NHVR executive director Ray Hassall wants to remind everyone within the chain of responsibility to take their part in safety seriously.

“It’s imperative that operators understand their obligation to keep their drivers, and importantly all road users, safe on the South Eastern Freeway,” he says.

“In this incident, we’ve seen a heavy vehicle lose control, skid and roll into oncoming traffic at the intersection.

“This case strongly reminds us of the reasons for the robust safety and operational standards within the heavy vehicle industry.”

The investigation carried out by the South Australian police into the driver and the company revealed multiple failures which led to the incident.

The court heard the operator had permitted an unlicenced driver to drive a defective and overmass heavy vehicle without undergoing an induction or any training, and that the operator did not have adequate policies and procedures in place.

NHVR acting director of prosecutions Elim Chan says everyone in the industry needs to be aware of their responsibilities.

“The NHVR is committed to ensuring all parties in the Chain of Responsibility uphold their duties to safeguard public safety,” she says.

“The NHVR challenges industry to not only meet, but exceed the safety standards set forth under the HVNL. It’s our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of our roads for both drivers and the public.”

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