Drivers urged: stand up to police
HERVEY Bay's Peter Schuback is fighting for truckies everywhere.
On the back of more reports police are cracking down on drivers, especially about filling in log books or where they pull up, even when they are not working, he told Big Rigs drivers didn't have to take it.
He's fought thousands of tickets.
"I'm fighting for drivers and trying to defend the people by making the scalies and police accountable. You shouldn't be scared, they're public servants," he said.
"I've handed out some 300,000 review forms. You have the right to request a review of an infringement.
"This can cost the government 10 hours of time or $650 of lost revenue. We're trying to use their laws against them."
Mr Schuback said he didn't think police officers were trained correctly or really knew the laws and he advised every driver to read up.
He said to tell police who question where you have pulled up that you are fatigued and it was a health and safety concern.
In a recent letter to Big Rigs he wrote that police had been hiding near truck stops and service stations booking drivers for "trivial offences".
He said the last incident he heard of was a driver who had been parked all day at the BP Archerfield.
"He jumped in his truck to go visit his grandkids and was knocked off for not putting an entry in his log book," Mr Schuback said.
"I can understand how he made the mistake of believing that he would not have to put in an entry whilst driving an empty prime mover with no trailer attached.
"In the work diary it states that you are to fill out the diary if the GVM is over 12 tonnes. Not many prime movers go over 12 tonnes and with no trailer attached his GVM would be far less than 12 tonnes.
"Anyway, he tried to explain that he believed that he was okay to drive to see his grandkids because he had not worked in the past 24 hours and he was driving a vehicle that was under 12 tonnes."
The police still wrote him up for a $650 fine.
But under the Queensland Criminal Code sections 24 and 23, mistake of fact and intention, Mr Schuback said the driver had a defence.
UNDER the criminal code, as Mr Schuback understands it, mistakes made in good faith and subject to the "mistaken belief that the person was right" or were done by accident are not a criminal offence.
"How many thousands of drivers have been booked for offences that are done by mistake, or accidents done with no malice or intent to commit offences?" he asked.
"Every time one of these over zealous officials write you up for some trivial offence that has nothing to do with safety, contest the fine. Do not elect to go to court, do not pay the fine.
"Put in a request for a review of the fine. Use their laws against them. Clog up their systems with paper work."
Review forms can be obtained by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0408458232.