NSW crashes spark traffic taskforce Operation Carter
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