The NSW Road Authority told a Senate Committee that there are no powers in the state to suspend the licenses of truck drivers who are wrongly accredited.
Questions raised in February at a hearing by the Standing Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee in its Inquiry into Aspects of Road Safety and taken on notice was prompted by an incident involving a visa-holding driver who provided a Queensland license by an assessor who was later discovered to be corrupt.
The driver showed signs of incompetence by being unable to reverse a combination vehicle on Sydney’s M5 freeway. Transport Management Centre Traffic Emergency Patrol staff had to reverse the vehicle from the entrance to a tunnel it could not enter on the driver’s behalf.
The committee sought to determine whether in the interests of safety, RMS officers had the authority to challenge the driver’s competency and stop him from driving.
Since then it has been advised that officers did not have the power to prevent drivers from continuing their journey. The limits of RMS power were 6 demerit points, fines of $630 and R2,196 for failure to obey low clearance sign and failure to be on permitted route respectively and the suspension in NSW of the combination for 3 months.
RMS later imposed the maximum 3 month suspension of visiting driver privileges on the driver.