While NSW road authorities have hailed the results of Operation Austrans for that state as promising, SA Authorities have a different story to tell.
South Australia’s concerning defects rate has been highlighted by Operation Austrans. According to figures obtained from the operation more than 6 percent of the state’s fleet have serious issues with compliance.
SA Police Traffic Support Branch highlighted the concerning revelation that one in 16 linehaul trucks and light and medium rigids are demonstrating major defects.
Inspector Steve Kameniar, officer in charge of the branch said that issues include brake problems, steering suspension, oil and fuel leaks. Mr Kamerniar stated:
“Police are concerned about the road worthiness of many heavy vehicles on our roads and we will continue to crack down on poor maintenance of heavy vehicles that threaten the safety of all road users,”
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Fullyloaded.com.au highlighted that 100 of 1,600 trucks tested had major defects and 140 minor issues.
According to the post-South Australian authorities focus at Kimba, Monteith and Yamba were on semis, B-Doubles and road trains, although they were checking all truck sizes. For Cavan, Edinburgh Park and Lonsdale authorities; focus is on light and medium rigids.
This differing focus has resulted in variations at certain locations, authorities said.
In an incident at Lonsdale, police and Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure compliance officers found 25 out of the 33 heavy vehicles stopped were defected and 13 of them were major defects.
One of the major defects detected was a fully loaded truck carrying a load around 22 tonnes and operating on only half of its brake capacity.
Mr Kameniar went on to explain:
“The South Eastern Freeway has seen fatal crashes and a number of near misses, due to poor vehicle maintenance and drivers not using the appropriate gear to negotiate the descent,” Kameniar says
“We acknowledge the majority of those involved in the heavy vehicle industry are doing the right thing, but we can’t have a situation where drivers and their employers are sacrificing public safety for economic deadlines.
One company director has already been charged with negligent manslaughter over failing to maintain his vehicles and authorities are hoping there won’t be anymore.
Authorities in Wingfield inspected 178 vehicles and 46 were found to be defected – 14 had major defects and 32 minor defects. During the operation, there were 3 severely overweight heavy vehicles and one overweight light vehicle.
Other defects included a dangerously shredded tyre as well as 2 drivers who tested positive to drugs.