Operation AUSTRANS, SA

Operation AUSTRANS results, just in after the month–long operation concluded this week, have concerned police, with serious brake defects identified on 80 heavy vehicles, according to SA Police.

More than 4,000 heavy vehicles were stopped and checked by police during the four week operation across South Australia, including rural areas at Ceduna, Port Augusta, Cockburn and Renmark.

Inspector Ben Spencer, Investigations Manager, Traffic Support Branch, says of 559 heavy vehicles defected,158 of those defects were major, with 80 defects issued specifically for brakes.

“I am concerned that 80 heavy vehicles were operating on our roads with break defects; the risk to the drivers and to other road users speaks for itself.

“We also detected 15 critical risk breaches, where drivers exceeded their working hours or failed to take their minimum rest time. In some instances, drivers were grounded to prevent further driving.

“Fatigue is one of the fatal five; one of the five main factors that contribute to road trauma on our roads. A fatigued driver operating a heavy vehicle creates an extreme and unacceptable risk.

Inspector Spencer says SAPOL will continue to police the heavy vehicle industry and target those drivers and operators involved in risk taking behaviour.

“These figures come at the end of a month-long enforcement operation with over 4000 heavy vehicles stopped. It is important to acknowledge there are many responsible drivers and operators out there who are doing the right thing, however those drivers or operators who are involved in risk taking behaviour will be targeted by police, state-wide.”

The Department of Transport Planning and Infrastructure also contributed to Operation AUSTRANS in South Australia.

Operation AUSTRANS report card:

559 heavy vehicles were defected with 158 of those defects deemed to be major; 80 defects were issued specifically for brakes.

70 Traffic Infringement Notices were issued to drivers or owners for permitting the use of a heavy vehicle that contravenes vehicle standards and/or Australian Design Rules.

15 Traffic Infringement Notices were issued to companies for permitting the use of an unsafe vehicle.

519 Traffic Infringement Notices were issued for offences directly related to heavy vehicles, with 157 notices issued for work diary offences.

33 heavy vehicle drivers were issued a Traffic Infringement Notice for failing to wear a seatbelt and 19 heavy vehicle drivers were detected using a hand held mobile phone while driving.

54 Expiation Notices were issued for load restraint issues. Over half of these expiations resulted in a chain of responsibility investigation with employers, consigners and or loading managers also receiving expiations for the offence.

15 critical risk breaches were detected. In these instances drivers exceeded their working hours or failed to take their minimum rest time; and in some instances were grounded to prevent further driving.