Truck safety blitz

Truck safety blitz

Police and RMS inspectors conducted a two-day blitz in Tumut this week is a bid to make the local roads safer. Steve Campbell, Rob Banman, Kell Blacker and Paul Dean on the job.
Police and RMS inspectors conducted a two-day blitz in Tumut this week is a bid to make the local roads safer. Steve Campbell, Rob Banman, Kell Blacker and Paul Dean on the job.

A heavy vehicle safety operation was conducted in Tumut on Thursday and Friday, sidelining defective trucks and resulting in numerous infringement notices being issued.

There are around 2000 heavy vehicle movements in Tumut each day.

Local Senior Constable Paul Dean, who oversaw this week’s heavy vehicle operation, said the general aim was to make the roads a safer place for drivers and to improve truck safety.

“Concern was raised by the local inspector about the amount of heavy vehicles on our roads and the operation came from that,” Snr Constable Dean said.

“The operation saw Tumut, Wagga, Gundagai, Cootamundra and Albury personnel involved and we had eight police officers and four RMS people working over the two days.

“Along with the guys who are going over the trucks we also have highway patrol officer in the field doing spot checks who can direct a truck to the inspection station if warranted.”

Set up on both sides of the road on the Snowy Mountains Highway near the Butter Factory, the operation was aimed at identifying minor and major vehicle compliance issues, alcohol use, licensing legislation, speed limit compliance and log book and fatigue offences.

A slow and painstaking exercise, numerous trucks were given the once over with many passing with flying colours.

There were, however, those that failed to comply.

“There have been a few trucks that we identified major problems with,” Snr Constable Dean said. “Brakes have been worn on trailers, oil leaking, flat tyres and by Thursday midday we had already defected a truck that was unregistered and uninsured in NSW and also had a few compliance problems as well.

“Fines have been issued to drivers and companies but sometimes just the companies. Discretion is used depending upon the offence as to whether the driver cops a fine as well.”

High-tech equipment aided the specialised inspectors with road side scales employed along with a machine the trucks are linked with that is able to recall the top speed the truck has been travelling.

“The limit for a truck is 100km/hour so the machine can detect if the truck has travelled above this,” Snr Constable Dean said. “Not being speed limit compliant gathers fines up to $2000. We ran the operation in line with the big crack down that is being carried out across the state.

“We have a few truck accidents around here but like the one on Gocup Road last week, the truck driver is not always at fault. The driver involved in that accident most probably saved lives through his driving.

“We want roads as a whole to be safer, this operation is just part of that.”

Tumut’s heavy vehicle safety blitz follows in the footsteps of a five-day operation that ran last week across metropolitan Sydney to ensure trucks met safety standards and complied with transport regulations.

During the operation, police and RMS inspected 795 trucks and trailers, resulting in 321 defect notices being issued.

Whilst the results of the local operation are still being tallied, Snr Constable Dean is confident the time and effort spent was well worth it.