NSW authorities target DCs to enforce load restraint

NSW Police says load restraint is a “serious issue” for industry after DC inspection reveals unsecured loads

Authorities in New South Wales have turned their attention to inspecting distribution centres as part of the annual Operation Austrans initiative currently underway.

The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and officers from NSW Police expanded their inspections of heavy vehicles at the weekend to a distribution centre at Huntingwood.

NSW Police says 111 trucks and trailers were inspected and 22 defects were issued for faults relating to brakes, tyre wear, oil leaks and suspension.

Officers issued 29 infringements for unstrained loads, vehicle mass breaches and work diary offences.

A further 23 drivers were issued directions to properly secure their loads before either entering or leaving the distribution centre.

“Unsecured loads are not only a risk to other road users, those unloading the goods at Distribution Centres are also placed at risk,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith says.

“To see some trucks come in with broken gates, and significant amounts of goods not strapped down and only held in by side curtains, is a serious issue for the transport and distribution industries.”

Smith says one officer was struck during a load inspection when a gate gave way.

Police also conducted 149 random breath tests and 38 drug tests, all of which proved negative.

Peter Wells from the RMS’ safety and compliance division says inspections will continue at distribution centres.

“We will continue to engage with distribution centres and transport operators to ensure their load practices are compliant and to underpin a safe and productive freight industry in NSW,” he says.

Operation Austrans is focused on heavy vehicle compliance across Australia throughout May and June every year.