NSW crashes spark traf­fic task­force Op­er­a­tion Carter

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A JOINT traf­fic task­force op­er­a­tion held in mid-Novem­ber tar­geted heavy ve­hi­cles in New South Wales in the wake of a num­ber of crashes at Mount Ous­ley on the Princes High­way.

Op­er­a­tion Carter, which ran in re­sponse to three in­ci­dents be­tween Novem­ber 14 and 16, saw mem­bers of the NSW Po­lice and the Roads and Mar­itime Ser­vices (RMS) check­ing ve­hi­cles at Mount Ous­ley, Water­fall, Pic­ton Road, and Win­ton.

From the 86 trucks and trail­ers in­spected, 23 de­fects were high­lighted, in­clud­ing brakes, body and chas­sis, an­cil­lary equip­ment, tow cou­plings, ex­haust and noise, wheels and tyres, air leaks in brak­ing sys­tems, en­gine and dif­fer­en­tial oil leaks, and chas­sis fa­tigue cracks.

Five driv­ers were handed penalty no­tices for not car­ry­ing and pro­duc­ing work diaries, three trucks were found to have dis­played ex­pired reg­is­tra­tion la­bels, some of which ex­pired in 2014, and one dimensions breach was is­sued for a com­bi­na­tion ex­ceed­ing the re­quired length.

Three penalty no­tices were also is­sued for de­fec­tive and worn tyres, an­other for the use of an un­safe heavy ve­hi­cle on the road with mul­ti­ple de­fec­tive is­sues and with a ma­jor de­fect no­tice is­sued, and two for con­tra­ven­ing ve­hi­cles stan­dards.

On a pos­i­tive note, no pos­i­tive re­sults were found from the 31 ran­dom breath tests and 31 drugs tests.

For two par­tic­u­lar driv­ers, how­ever, who the po­lice task­force had to chase down the road as they avoided be­ing stopped, the op­er­a­tion was a costly one.

Ac­cord­ing to the task­force, the first dis­re­garded di­rec­tions and was sub­se­quently in­ter­cepted by po­lice – the driver and com­pany de­tails were ob­tained and passed over to the RMS for ac­tion to be taken.

The sec­ond driver, who dodged the op­er­a­tion by driv­ing in­ten­tion­ally into an in­cor­rect lane, was halted on the way down Mount Ous­ley.

The task­force says the driver was handed penalty no­tices for: Class C heavy ve­hi­cle ex­ceed­ing speed by greater than 20km/h ($568 and four de­merit points); not pro­duc­ing a work di­ary ($ 640); not driv­ing in lane for par­tic­u­lar lane for ve­hi­cle ($325 and three de­merit points); and driv­ing a heavy ve­hi­cle in breach of mi­nor de­fect no­tice ($325 and one de­merit point) – to­talling eight de­merit points in­curred.

NSW Traf­fic and High­way Pa­trol Com­mand as­sis­tant com­mis­sioner Michael Cor­boy says with the road toll cur­rently 33 above this time last year, the task­force will con­tinue to tar­get trou­ble ar­eas.

“To have two trucks by­pass check­points, one trailer with a hole in the tyre along with sig­nif­i­cant chas­sis cracks, and to have two trucks with ex­pired reg­is­tra­tion from 2014, sug­gests that the in­dus­try needs to do more to be com­pli­ant not only in their busi­ness, but also on our roads,” he says.

“The Joint Traf­fic Task­force will quickly re­spond to these events and con­duct en­force­ment op­er­a­tions on the ground, at dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres, work­sites, and op­er­a­tor yards, all for the ben­e­fit of pre­vent­ing heavy ve­hi­clere­lated se­ri­ous in­jury and fa­tal crashes on NSW roads.”

RMS gen­eral man­ager of com­pli­ance op­er­a­tions Paul Endy­cott has warned op­er­a­tors to be wary of the area.

“We know it is only a small num­ber of driv­ers [and] op­er­a­tors that do the wrong thing but, sadly, what we’ve found this week isn’t good enough.”

Op­er­a­tion at Mt Ous­ley. Source NSW Po­lice

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