Key issues that have arisen from the VTA 2015 Conference include authorities’ “zero tolerance” approach to maintenance issues and hard line against speeding.
Speaking at the Victorian Transport Associations annual conference, Russell Greenland from VicRoads warned members of the transport industry not to shirk their maintenance responsibilities.
The consequences of having multiple vehicles grounded as well as being issued with defect notices should serve as a warning to transport companies not to shirk on maintenance, Mr Greenland stated.
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Companies should not underestimate the financial and reputational costs of such actions which can severely impact business and in some cases even cripple a business.
Victoria is not the only state taking a firm stance on maintenance. Mr Greenland, transport safety services manager speaking at The Victorian Transport Association’s annual conference said that other road authorities are taking a similar zero-tolerance approach.
“All the states are going to be working in the same direction now,” he says.
“There really won’t be anywhere to hide.”
Mr Greenland described maintenance issues discovered by inspectors among heavy vehicle fleets as “disgusting”, even blaming mechanics. He said that managers needed to ensure their mechanics were checking vehicles properly.
He, together with other speakers at the conference emphasised the high costs of non-compliance when compared with the cost of just bringing vehicles up to a roadworthy condition. Even roadworthy tests are at the owner’s expense, Mr Greenland explained.
“Every time we issue a defect notice, we will put the vehicle through a full roadworthy test [at the owner’s expense],” he says.
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These expenses are in addition to costs the company will incur because of being off the road.
Police Take Zero Tolerance Approach to Speeding
The Victoria Police acting superintendent David Griffin said that a new police program will not tolerate even minor speeding breaches.
Drivers and operators need to be aware that police will be tackling even low-level speeding and will soon begin enforcing speed limits without any buffer allowances. Drivers must drive below the sign-posted limits.
The Victoria Police Speed Tolerance Enforcement Program is part of The Victoria Police’s Road Safety Action Plan for 2011 to 2020. Within the program recorded speeds will equal alleged speeds with no “discount” provided. Mr Griffin explained:
“We want to challenge the thinking that low-level speeding is OK – it’s not,” he says.
“For every 5km/h over 60km/h, you double your chances of being in a crash.”