Police complete checks on trucks as a part of operation steel 3 on Tuesday. 150 vehicles were defected. Photo Contributed
Police complete checks on trucks as a part of operation steel 3 on Tuesday. 150 vehicles were defected. Photo Contributed Contributed

UPDATE: Police crack down in NSW sees 150 trucks defected

2.40pm:  POLICE have issued 150 defect notices to truckies driving in New South Wales during Operation Steel 3 which concluded at 10pm last night.

Senior Police have said they were dismayed and officers expressed their concerns about safety standards within the heavy vehicle industry.

Operations Commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol, Superintendent Stuart Smith, said police were fed up with rogue trucks.

"Half of the trucks we inspected were found to be dangerous in one way or another," Supt Smith said.

"Of those that had their speed limiters checked, one in four were found to be defective.

"What will it take for some of these companies to abide by the law? Another triple-fatal crash? Another family's life destroyed?"

 "Last year, we saw a number of serious crashes that we will allege were caused by trucks breaking the speed limit or carrying loads that were not properly restrained.

"In short, a truck that exceeds the speed limit, or a truck with an inadequately restrained load, is a threat to human life.

"Based on the disappointing results we have seen over the past two days, it seems some truckies do not realise this."

Over the two days of Operation Steel 3, police inspected 337 trucks at locations in Botany Bay, Wetherill Park and along the M5 at Kingsgrove.

 

Police and RMS officers complete checks on trucks as a part of operation steel 3 on Tuesday. Photo Contributed
Police and RMS officers complete checks on trucks as a part of operation steel 3 on Tuesday. Photo Contributed Contributed

 

 

Are maintenance standards slipping because truckies aren't being paid enough?

This poll ended on 27 April 2013.

Current Results

Yes.

86%

No.

8%

I don't know.

4%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

Some results:

  • 154 defects issued for a range of problems, including five with defective speed limiters, allowing the vehicles to exceed the 100km/h speed limit for trucks;
  • 136 penalty notices issued for a variety of breaches, including excessive load dimensions, worn tyres and defective brakes, all of which pose major threats to the safety of other road users police said.

Some incidents:

  • One truck, inspected yesterday evening in Botany, was found to have a defective speed limiter, allowing the truck to potentially travel at 193km/h - 93km/h over the 100km/h speed limit for trucks in NSW;
  • One truck grounded after being discovered with a major brake defect on the M5 in Kingsgrove yesterday morning;
  • One truck stopped for a severe load breach, where a helicopter on the trailer significantly exceeded the width restrictions for truck loads;
  • One flat-bed, tow truck was stopped on Foreshaw Drive, Port Botany, carrying dilapidated car parts, many of which were not secured at all.

Roads and Maritime Services Director Customer and Compliance, Peter Wells, said it was very disappointing so many trucks were still being caught with defects.

"We call on the heavy vehicle industry to maintain their trucks in good working order for the safety of all road users," Mr Wells said.

"Well maintained trucks are safer for the operator and other road users and improve profitability through reduced running costs and costs associated with enforcement.

"We encourage the industry to work with RMS and NSW Police to improve maintenance on these vehicles and comply with the law.

"The high number of defects detected in these trucks requires executives and managers of trucking companies to look hard at their maintenance and strongly reduce the level of defects in their fleet.

"No one wants to see another tragedy like the one on the M7 where a man lost his life when a container fell from the back of a truck.

"Let me be clear - we will continue with enforcement - we are not going away."

 

Are these crackdowns just revenue raising?

This poll ended on 27 April 2013.

Current Results

Yes.

61%

No.

38%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

 

EARLIER: THE latest police crack down on trucks has seen some 85 trucks being defected and 86 traffic infringements issued.

NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command (THP) and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) went through trucks with a fine tooth comb during the first day of Operation Steel 3, which finished last night at 9pm.

They were targeting load restraints, vehicle standards and speed.

The operation started 6am Tuesday and police say it was launched following investigations into two crashes in 2012 in which load-shift within trucks was allegedly a contributing factor.

Yesterday Operation Steel 3 investigators inspected 147 trucks resulting in:

  • 85 trucks being issued with Defect Notices for not meeting RMS roadworthiness requirements;
  • 86 Traffic Infringement Notices being issued for a variety of breaches including excessive load dimensions, worn tyres, not wearing seatbelts, driver mobile phone use and damaged vehicle headlights.

Some examples of defects detected on trucks included:

  • 17 major defects including lights, tyres and cracks in chassis;
  • Container pins insecure while being driven by a cancelled driver;
  • Severe width dimension breach with the helicopter being transported too wide;
  • Numerous non-compliant speed limiters (maximum speed set too high).

 

Police and RMS officers complete checks on trucks as a part of operation steel 3 on Tuesday. Photo Contributed
Police and RMS officers complete checks on trucks as a part of operation steel 3 on Tuesday. Photo Contributed Contributed

In addition to vehicle inspections, over 193 Random Breath Tests and 38 Roadside Drug Tests were conducted, none of which returned positive results.

 

Operations Commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Superintendent Stuart Smith, said trucks with poorly restrained loads had the potential to seriously injure or kill innocent people.

"There is very little room for error when it comes to large trucks carrying heavy loads," he said

"Crashes involving heavy vehicles are far more likely to be serious, so it is of paramount importance that truck companies and truck drivers take extra care to ensure their vehicles comply with the speed limits, vehicle standards and load restraint guidelines set by the RMS," Supt Smith said.

Roads and Maritime Services Director of Customer and Compliance Peter Wells said an important aspect of the operation was reminding those in the industry to comply with height restrictions.

Police and RMS officers complete checks on trucks as a part of operation steel 3 on Tuesday. Photo Contributed
Police and RMS officers complete checks on trucks as a part of operation steel 3 on Tuesday. Photo Contributed Contributed

 

"We are also focussing on over height vehicles during this operation to ensure their compliance. The damage to infrastructure and inconvenience to other road users when an over height vehicle blocks a tunnel is simply unacceptable.

"There are clear alternative routes for vehicles which cannot use tunnels and this operation is reminding heavy vehicle operators of their responsibility to use these routes," Mr Wells said.

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