Roads and Maritime Services Director of Compliance, Roger Weeks has a simple message for truck drivers and companies: “ If you want to flout the law, it is only a matter of time before you are caught”.
It comes as NSW Roads and Maritime Services inspectors – working with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and road agencies across Australia – carry out one of the nation’s largest heavy vehicle compliance actions this week.
The crackdown follows five deaths in three truck crashes in NSW last month.
Operation Shield follows on from Operation Rolling Thunder – Australia's largest heavy vehicle operation – with Roads and Maritime inspecting heavy vehicles at various locations in NSW – including Wetherill Park – and the NHVR coordinating similar compliance inspections with other road transport agencies across Australia.
The week long operation will target fatigue and speed limiter non-compliance.
“The results of Operation Rolling Thunder showed some heavy vehicle operators had critical fatigue breaches and had tampered with speed limiters,” Mr Weeks said.
“The message is clear, don’t drive tired and stay within speed limits.
“During Operation Rolling Thunder our inspectors detected a heavy vehicle which had its speed limiter tampered with enabling a shocking 128 km/h speed limit.
“In another case, a driver tried to hide 111 pages of a work diary under the mattress in the sleeper cab to avoid detection.”
Mr Weeks said “the majority of truckies and companies” do the right thing.
“It is those who don’t that we are targeting – because it is completely unacceptable that the things we are seeing are still happening,” he said.
“Safety is our highest priority and we will continue to work with industry to ensure compliance levels can be lifted and systemic safety failures are stamped out.
“Strong penalties apply for any individual or company in the ‘Chain of Responsibility’ who breaches the law, with fines exceeding $10,000 for individuals and companies facing fines in excess of $50,000 for each offence.
"Now is the time for drivers, owners, operators, and others in the 'Chain of Responsibility' to put safety first, and help us drive down the road toll."