NSW POLICE: Blitzes are having a positive effect
ONLY a small percentage of the 5.2 million breath tests and 112,000 mobile drug tests last year related to the heavy vehicle industry, but New South Wales' top traffic cop Phil Brooks says police will continue to focus on heavy vehicle safety and compliance in order to minimise risks on our roads.
The recent Operation Northmore blitz was held at 11 locations across the state - from Chinderah and Wallangarra in the north to Narrabarba in the south, Cobar in the central west and Marulan and metro Sydney.
The NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Chief Inspector said a number of speed tampering cases and positive tests to drugs and alcohol were found during the operation, however a much broader set of results on fatigue management issues was quite concerning.
"The main thing we want to take from our operation is a visible presence, we want all road users to know the Traffic and Highway Patrol will work with RMS and other agencies to ensure the safety of all of those on the roads," he said.
"Across the board we did 5.2 million breath tests and 112,000 mobile drug tests last year and a small percentage of those would have related to the heavy vehicle industry so we aim for balance when we talk about road safety enforcement.
"I believe we have a very balanced approach, which is reflected not only in last year's overall road toll, but also the current state of heavy vehicle related fatal crashes and deaths.
"With 45 heavy vehicle fatal crashes and 48 fatalities in the last 12 months being 20 crashes and 33 less than the 12 months previous, our heavy vehicle enforcement programs, combined with what is a very significant industry focus, continues to assist in driving theses sad and tragic numbers towards zero."
MAJOR CASES INCLUDED
- Driver tested positive to methylamphetamine at the Chinderah RMS heavy vehicle inspection station. His work diary was found with errors, the prime mover unregistered and a speed tampering device found. The driver was charged for the offences and his company also received an infringement notice
- Victorian-registered truck loaded with cardboard was revealed to be capable of travelling speeds up to 127.4km/hr. The truck was defected immediately and the driver and company received notices for use of heavy vehicle/contravene speed limiter standard
- Driver of a B-double was charged and will appear in court after returning a breath test reading of 0.132
- Victorian driver was fined more than $5000 for various offences including work diary errors and fatigue breaches and a speed evasion device
The final results were:
- 7,309 random breath tests
- 1,535 mobile drug tests conducted (eight positives)
- 130 fatigue (log book) offences detected
- 99 defects issued
- 589 other infringement notices
- 344 engine control module downloads conducted (20 non-compliant).
- 3,878 heavy vehicles inspected
- 188 defects
- 27 infringement notices
- 4 formal warnings
30 dimension breaches