VicRoads officer sacked after speeding charges
A BALLARAT-BASED VicRoads enforcement officer has lost her job after being charged with speeding.
A former VicRoads employee familiar with the case told Big Rigs that Tracey Webber was allegedly detected driving 148km/h in an 80km/h zone by the Victoria police while using her patrol car.
She is due to appear in Ballarat Magistrates' Court on March 28. Public court documents show she has adjourned her plea.
Big Rigs approached Ms Webber for comment on the incident but she declined the opportunity while the matter was before the court.
VicRoads confirmed Ms Webber had been dismissed as a result of the charges, but also declined to speak about specifics of the case for the same reason.
Eric Henderson, the director of heavy vehicle services for VicRoads, told Big Rigs that in a few circumstances where officers were escorting or intercepting heavy vehicles, officers may be exempted from the posted speed limit provided they are using their magenta lights and sirens and it is safe and reasonable to speed.
But he said VicRoads Transport Safety Services officers must comply with all road rules.
"Our Transport Safety Services officers help keep all road users safe by ensuring compliance of vehicles across the network," he said.
"All officers must undertake advanced driver training before they can perform their duties."
Our industry source said VicRoads was the only jurisdiction that gave its officers the discretion to speed, but he questioned the need for that licence today, given that trucks have slowed considerably.
He also said GPS units were introduced to help monitor officer speeds and whereabouts but their use had been discontinued.
A 2015 report tabled in the state parliament by Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass found that VicRoads officers often placed the public at risk by breaking speed limits in enforcement vehicles without using warning lights and sirens.
The Ombudsman recommended disciplinary action be taken against two VicRoads staff members, and asked that other employees be better trained to prevent the practice continuing.
One enforcement officer interviewed by the Ombudsman as part of the report said that he routinely sped without lights or sirens "and that other officers also follow this practice".
This had highlighted a "culture of entitlement amongst VicRoads officers in Transport Safety Services to breach the legislation they are responsible for administering", the Ombudsman found.