NSW Police and RMS inspectors conducted inspections of heavy vehicles at various locations across the state
NSW Police and RMS inspectors conducted inspections of heavy vehicles at various locations across the state

Operation to remove 'dangerous trucks' from road

TRUCK drivers were once again in the spotlight with yesterday's launch of Operation Rolling Thunder, Australia's largest ever operation targeting heavy vehicles.

"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," Commander of NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said.

NSW Police and RMS inspectors conducted inspections of heavy vehicles at various locations across the state, as well as drug and alcohol testing of heavy vehicle drivers.

Jim Pearson from Jim Pearson Transport said he didn't have an issue with the campaign, but hoped it would consider the whole context of these incidents.

"Any truck that uses the highway is getting checked all the time, so it's not much different to what we're used to doing on a daily basis.

"The government is obviously trying to do what they can to get heavy vehicles to comply with regulations, but we all have to understand that there's a human element to it which is often the cause of the problem," Mr Pearson said.

Mr Pearson said there were many factors contributing to the road toll, namely fatigue in both truck and small vehicle drivers.

"I think fatigue monitoring is a big thing in the trucking industry, but it comes down to how you set up your business and what things are put in place to reduce fatigue in drivers," he said.

"However, there are a lot of fatigue accidents that are caused by car drivers which need to be considered."

According to the 2017 Major Accident Investigation Report compiled by National Truck Insurance, the driver of the car or light vehicle was found to be totally responsible in 93% of fatal incidents.

However yesterday's operation only targeted "dangerous trucks".

"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," Mr Corboy said.

WHAT READERS HAVE SAID

Rick Murray: I've held heavy vehicle licences for nearly 40 years and have always been proud of our professional drivers, but since moving down here I've seen some appalling behaviour on the Pacific Highway from B-Double and Semi-trailer drivers!

Lisa Apps: Stop blaming truck drivers!! They can tell you many stories of the inconsiderate vehicle drivers that put themselves and others in harms way.

Becki Burrows: Perhaps firstly they should look at the car drivers causing a lot of the accidents both directly and indirectly as well as the trucking rules and regulations.

Graeme East: I suspect the problem is how truckers are remunerated and the hours they work. So many of them seem to be in a great hurry and drive quite aggressively. Maybe they are under too much pressure to meet time lines or trying to make a reasonable living.

Hannah Fittock: Without trucks the nation stops. All good and well to say send it by rail but that system needs to be built first. I wonder how many will stop at Coles or Woolies today or are even waiting on a parcel of some sort.

Danielle Smith: The RMS need to have dangerous spots fixed asap.


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