Weed out the unsafe trucks
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.