Joint task force ‘Operation Impact’ taking defective heavy vehicles off our roads, NSW

A joint task force comprised of Traffic and Highway Patrol command officers and Roads and Maritime Inspectors have completed Operation Impact, which focuses on heavy vehicle compliance, in the Pine Creek, Eden and Bega areas, NSW Police say.

About 12pm yesterday, officers inspected a truck at Pine Creek Safety Station. Upon inspecting the truck, officers identified both rear drive axel cover plates to be missing, exposing the hub and wheel bearings and allowing oil to leak onto the road.

The driver of the truck, a 52-year-old man, was given a major red label defect, resulting in his truck being towed. He was also issued an infringement notice for use on road vehicle that is unsafe. The operator of the truck was also issued an infringement notice for, permit to be used on road a heavy vehicle that is unsafe.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command’s Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said it was fortunate this truck was identified and taken off our roads. “A truck in this condition presents real risks for the safety of other road users.”

“The driver, and operator, should not take their business or our roads for granted,” he said.

Roads and Maritime General Manager Compliance Operations Paul Endycott said it was disappointing there are a few heavy vehicle drivers and operators putting lives at risk.

“While most of the heavy vehicle industry understands the importance of vehicle safety and encourage good driver behaviour, the results of this operation show there is a minority who continue to flout the law and operate unsafe trucks on our roads.

“Not only are these drivers and operators risking the reputation of their business and their livelihoods, they are putting every road user at risk and Roads and Maritime and NSW Police will not tolerate this behaviour.

“Operating heavy vehicles in NSW is not a right, it is a privilege, part of that privilege is to ensure vehicles are operated safely and in a roadworthy condition.

“We have made the message very clear, any truck can be randomly inspected so it is only a matter of time before the minority law-breakers are caught out and taken off road.”

Operation Impact ran between 20 – 22 June 2016, and identified:

  • 918 trucks and trailers were intercepted
  • 122 defects were applied for 303 identified faults which included brakes, suspension, body and chassis, oil and fuel leaks, steering, wheels and tyres, and exhaust and noise
  • 22 defects were major requiring immediate rectification
  • 96 defects were minor allowing future repairs pending further inspection
  • Out of 34 engine control module downloads on trucks, 7 were found to be non compliant, allowing speeds over 100kph
  • Out of 1008 random breath tests there were no positive results
  • Out of 365 random drug tests, 17 drivers returned positive results, which included a 25 year old female provisional driver, with her 10 month old son in the vehicle. She was banned from driving for 24 hours, and issued infringements for not complying with conditions in driving a manual vehicle, and not displaying P plates
  • 185 infringements and 16 court attendance notices were issued for various licence, registration, load and fatigue offences

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said the ‘Joint Taskforce’ Operations were focussed on compliance, through enforcement, for the benefit of all road users. “Whilst we will continue to conduct joint operations, the main aim is to ensure drivers, operators, customers, and loaders are well aware of their obligations.”

“By taking out defective trucks, trailers and drug drivers, we reduce the amount of risk on our roads that lead to serious injury and fatal crashes,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.