Truck drivers, particularly those travelling in NSW must pay extra attention to the width, height and length of their vehicles.
Fed up NSW roads Minister Duncan Gay has called on the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to almost double the cost of fines for over-height truck offences.
Duncan Gay’s department may soon see over height truck offenders be slapped with fines of $4000 in New South Wales.
Truck drivers who are caught by police ignoring low clearance signs on bridges and tunnels should beware they may soon be subjected to fines of up to $4000 in the state of NSW.
Duncan Gay has apparently tasked his department, with looking into the case for doubling of the existing penalties for truckies who ignore a clearance, low clearance or no trucks sign to avoid these vehicles causing damage to infrastructure.
According to Duncan, the raising of the fines will help prevent drivers in over-dimensional vehicles from entering tunnels or travelling under bridges that are not high or wide enough for them.
The Minister also wants the department to bring about a new road rule which would make drivers legally responsible for knowing the width, height and length of their truck before embarking on a journey or face a fine.
According to an article on ATN recently, the state already has the harshest penalties in the nation for over height and over length offences with breaches incurring a fine of $2,200, loss of 6 demerit points and suspension of truck registration for up to 3 months.
The article included this quote by Gay:
“Truck drivers who think it’s okay to blatantly disregard warning signs need to put their brain in gear before they put their truck in gear,” Gay says.
“There is no excuse for running the gauntlet and threatening the safety or time and money of all other road users.”
The office of the Minister said there were 12 over height and over length incidents between July and September, so attention to this issue is important. Part of Gay’s frustration comes from the fact that drivers are still taking too many risks and ignoring warning signs, despite an almost 50 per cent drop in the number of incidents since 2008.
Gay says that according to vehicle inspectors in the state the most common reason given by drivers when asked about why they disregard signage relating to height, width and length is because they thought they’d “have a crack”. Gay said:
“If they want to ‘have a crack’ at running the gauntlet…then I’ll have a crack at them”
Gay highlighted that warning signs already include flashing lights and detectors ahead of tunnels in Sydney to specifically warn truckies when their vehicle exceeds height and length dimensions and to turn around, the article said. The post went on to detail the number of truck registrations that were suspended over the last 2 years by the NSW government. According to the government 27 truck registrations were suspended as a result of over height and over length offences. The article also highlighted some of the incidents that have taken place:
Last year it suspended a truck for three months after it struck the roof of the Eastern Distributor Tunnel. The Government also banned a Western Australia-registered rig from NSW for the same amount of time for causing the closure of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.