Police in NSW recently embarked on a joint operation with Roads and Maritime Services in Sydney’s West. The Joint Traffic Taskforce targeting waste management trucks discovered a number of defective vehicles, resulting in 40 defect notices being issued during the operation last week in Easter Creek.
Vehicles that collect and dispose of garbage around the state were targeted during the blitz. Vehicles were inspected for vehicle compliance, safety and maintenance issues.
A total of 40 defects were issued during the operation – only 120 vehicles were inspected. The issues identified related to body/chassis issues, ancillary equipment and oil/fuel leaks, according to reports.
There was some good news though, the officers also conducted drug tests on 94 drivers and issued 107 of them with breathalysers with no positive results being returned. There were however a number of infringements identified relating to insecure loads.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Bob Ryan, explained the importance of these vehicles being compliant,
“Waste management is a critical part of keeping our society moving and must be done with the highest level of safety,” Supt Ryan said.
“Recent events in NSW, and other states involving waste vehicles, highlight the need for safety and compliance on our roads.
Mr Ryan went on to detail some of the most concerning defects identified during the blitz,
“While relatively few defects were found during today’s operation, one vehicle with loose wheel nuts and another with a bald tyre is a serious concern and should be a warning to the industry to take note of their actions.
“We will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure that safety is the priority for all road users,” he said.
RMS General Manager of Compliance Operations, Paul Endycott also weighed in on the operation’s findings. According to Endycott these operations were so important because they may have saved a life. He was especially concerned about the maintenance system failure of an unnamed company. He explained that this vehicle could have caused a “catastrophic” incident,
“The dangerous condition of the truck, with an unsecured wheel with loose wheel nuts that could be turned by hand, was extremely concerning and could easily have had a catastrophic outcome,” he says.
“Critical failures of this type by some operators are totally unacceptable and more care must be taken to ensure vehicles travelling on our roads are safe.
Authorities will be checking up on this company because as Mr Endycott pointed out these trucks travelled down suburban streets, with defective vehicles putting other road-users including children at risk.
“These very important waste collection vehicles regularly travel down our suburban streets coming into contact with our children, other vulnerable road users and motorists.
“Our message this year has been very clear. If trucks deliver loads to or from your business and if risk is identified, the Joint Task Force will intervene to ensure road safety is not compromised.
It is vital that all parties in the chain of responsibility work to eliminate poor loading and load restraint practices, poor safety and maintenance, including the directors of these companies.
As an added incentive, these companies have been warned that joint operations such as this one will continue and culprits will be rooted out.