Chain of Responsibility Intensifies

Friday, 23 August 2013

Targeted operations to curb excessive speeding and poor safety practises in the trucking industry supply chain are paying off with more court convictions and safer roads.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) Director Customer and Compliance Peter Wells said, RMS is achieving results. In the past 10 months, 33,941 heavy vehicles were intercepted during a series of operations. As a result of these intercepts 5,122 defects, 2,188 penalty notices and 205 court notices were issued, along with 862 speed limiter compliance inspections. 

“These results show the combination of strong commitment, targeted enforcement, industry education and regulator technology is producing safer roads for the community,” Mr Wells said.

“Laws are in place to target loading, mass and dimension requirements along with fatigue and speed compliance.

“The laws focus on a ‘chain of responsibility’ which captures all parties in the logistics chain who may cause or contribute to these offences. This means all offenders can be penalised.

“RMS’ continued enforcement, identifying all parties in the chain of responsibility, is about changing the culture in the industry and its practices with a more professional approach across the board.

“The area is notorious for oversized trucks which damage the road and endanger the safety of other road users. 

“RMS staff also reminded truck drivers, company directors and line managers of their legal responsibilities to plan the right route for their trucks.

“This is a great example of an education campaign which is generating positive feedback from the community.

“Poor safety practices have devastating consequences for truckies and other road users. For this reason RMS is working closely with NSW Police and other jurisdictions to improve heavy vehicle compliance.

“The Australian heavy vehicle industry is critical to the movement of people, freight, livestock and other goods. Every year there are deaths and serious injuries on Australian roads caused by non compliant heavy vehicles which are preventable.

“The first quarter of this year recorded a 48 per cent reduction in heavy vehicle fatal crashes. This follows a 79 per cent reduction in heavy vehicles speeding above 105 kmh. Equally important, the courts are enforcing the law and those in the supply chain are feeling its full force.

“In June this year, a court convicted one company a second time for overheight offences. The first time the truck crashed into the Maitland Bridge in March 2009 and caused $1.7 million damage. The operator and consignee were fined and ordered to pay $1.4 million in compensation for the bridge.    

“The second time, the same vehicle was intercepted for carrying an overheight excavator.  The company was fined $30,000 for the second offence and the director was fined $1,100 and ordered to pay $500 professional costs.

“Operators and all other parties in the chain of responsibility need to take their legal obligations seriously to ensure drivers are safe, other road users are safe, and vehicles are safe, or they will be penalised.

“The message for industry is clear, heavy vehicles will be stopped, drivers spoken to, companies and directors investigated and heavy vehicles will be grounded for inspection by the joint heavy vehicle taskforce.

“RMS will continue to work with NSW police, other road agencies and interstate police to address dangerous behaviours within the heavy vehicle industry and target the companies which show a blatant disregard for the law,” Mr Wells said

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