TRUCK drivers are in the firing line with the launch of Operation Rolling Thunder, Australia's largest ever operation targeting heavy vehicles.
The operation will be run by NSW Police, the NSW Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) and the Victorian, Queensland, ACT and South Australian police forces.
It is in direct response to a two-day period, January 15 and 16, in which three unrelated heavy vehicle crashes in NSW at Jackadgery, Cooranbong and Brocklehurst, resulted in the deaths of five people.
NSW Police and RMS inspectors are now conducting inspections of heavy vehicles at various locations across the state, as well as conducting drug and alcohol testing of heavy vehicle drivers.
Queensland, Victorian, ACT, and South Australian Police are conducting simultaneous operations to ensure all heavy vehicles entering and leaving NSW are stopped, thoroughly inspected and drivers tested for drugs and alcohol.
The operation will be ongoing throughout the day.
Commander of NSW Police Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said the operation was an opportunity for police and other agencies to work together to ensure the entire trucking industry was operating safely on our roads.
"This operation is in direct response to three fatal truck crashes in the course of two days earlier this year, that cost the lives of five people," he said.
"We simply cannot stand by and accept that dangerous trucks are on our roads and are causing people to die.
"NSW carries the bulk of the nation's freight and we need to ensure that all of the trucks coming and going from the state are safe and compliant, and that truck drivers are not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
"Today's operation will test the entire heavy-vehicle industry in NSW and across other states.
"We will review results from the operation and stop any trucks, drivers, owners or operators who can't comply with safety standards and road rules, to ensure all dangerous trucks are removed from our roads," Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
Roads and Maritime Services Director of Compliance Roger Weeks said this is one of the largest operations jointly conducted by Roads and Maritime and NSW Police.
"Last year more than half a million heavy vehicle units were inspected and we will continue to work closely with NSW Police to target and remove unsafe vehicles from NSW roads.
"NSW has the most comprehensive heavy vehicle safety and compliance system in the country and heavy vehicle drivers who ignore the law risk losing their licence and incurring heavy fines."
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