Weed out the un­safe trucks

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

A NEW regime of safety in­spec­tions to “weed out” un­road­wor­thy trucks has been in­tro­duced into South Aus­tralia with the back­ing of the South Aus­tralia Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion.

SARTA ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Steve Shearer said the in­spec­tion man­date was some­thing the in­dus­try and as­so­ci­a­tion had pushed.

“For about 10 years we have been call­ing on all gov­ern­ments to in­clude road­wor­thi­ness in the Chain of Re­spon­si­bil­ity Laws,” Mr Shearer said.

“Fi­nally the gov­ern­ment has agreed with us to take ac­tion after we have had some pretty se­ri­ous ac­ci­dents here in South Aus­tralia.”

The new scheme is aimed at im­prov­ing the safety of South Aus­tralian roads by re­duc­ing the num­ber of crashes caused by un­road­wor­thy heavy ve­hi­cles.

It re­quires heavy ve­hi­cles more than three years old, and reg­is­tered in South Aus­tralia, to un­dergo an in­spec­tion at change of own­er­ship.

About 900 ve­hi­cles were in­spected in the first half of 2017 with 58 per cent found to be non-com­pli­ant.

Of those, 29 per cent were faults with lights and re­flec­tors. More con­cern­ing, one fifth of faults re­lated to brakes.

All heavy ve­hi­cles will also re­quire an in­spec­tion at four, six and eight years after man­u­fac­ture, then ev­ery year from 10 years of age.

Mr Shearer be­lieves the com­bi­na­tion of new in­spec­tion laws and the amend­ments to the chain of re­spon­si­bil­ity laws have “cre­ated an en­vi­ron­ment of road safety the in­dus­try should be able to man­age”.

“We fully sup­port the plan as does most of the in­dus­try,” he said.

In­spec­tions will be un­der­taken by in­de­pen­dent op­er­a­tors and con­trolled and audited by the State Gov­ern­ment – cre­at­ing more than 100 jobs.

In­spec­tion sta­tions are ex­pected to be lo­cated in both met­ro­pol­i­tan and re­gional ar­eas across the state to en­sure ease of ac­cess to op­er­a­tors.

The gov­ern­ment is also work­ing with the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor to en­sure the South Aus­tralian scheme aligns with pro­posed na­tional re­forms.

“The fig­ures of non­com­plaint ve­hi­cles quoted in re­cent weeks are over­stated but it still shows there is an is­sue to be dealt with,” Mr Shearer said.

“So far most of the feed­back from mem­bers has been pos­i­tive.”

The in­spec­tion scheme is op­er­a­tional only in South Aus­tralian at this time.

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