NSW Government makes massive inroads into heavy vehicle speeding

Monday 18 February 2013

NSW Government makes massive inroads into heavy vehicle speeding

We promised we’d knock heavy vehicle speeding on the head – and we’re winning, Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay and Minister for Police Mike Gallacher said today.

Latest figures released by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and NSW Police show a 79 per cent fall in the past year in number of heavy vehicles detected speeding at more than 105km/h,” Mr Gallacher said.

“This is a fantastic result and shows what can be achieved with the combined efforts of strong commitment, enforcement, education and technology.

The coordinated approach was developed as a result of the tragic deaths of three members of the one family at Menangle last year.

“It is only with all segments of the industry working together we could have achieved such a positive result for our community,” Mr Gay said.

“The coordinated deployment of joint enforcement by NSW Police and RMS has paid off.

“Coupled with better use of technology and concerted efforts to educate the heavy vehicle industry about the economic and social costs at events like the heavy vehicle speeding forum last June, the Liberal Nationals Government has made huge inroads,” Mr Gay said.

“NSW motorists can now feel genuinely safer on our roads knowing there are fewer heavy vehicles thundering down our highways at excessive speed.

“RMS and the NSW Police are using smarter technology to detect heavy vehicle drivers doing the wrong thing which puts themselves and other road users at risk.

“Technology now allows RMS to detect the same heavy vehicle at more than one site, enabling clear speed trends to emerge throughout the year, providing clear intelligence on where the most urgent action is needed.

“We promised we would tackle the problem of heavy vehicle speeding, and now the proof is in the pudding.

“What you are witnessing here is a significant change in industry practice which is very good news. I encourage all of you to keep up this good work and to spread the message – speeding is deadly,” Mr Gallacher said.

Operations Commander of the NSW Police Force's Traffic and Highway Patrol, Superintendent Stuart Smith, said their joint heavy vehicle operations with RMS were having the desired effect.

"Last year, the NSW Police and RMS Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce conducted thorough inspections of more than 2,600 heavy vehicles, resulting in 93 trucks being grounded for having non-compliant speed limiters," Superintendent Smith said.

"We were also forced to issue more than 800 defects and infringement notices for a range of other offences, and carried out nearly 6000 random drug tests on truck drivers, with 70 returning positive results.

"We much prefer taking these actions than we do knocking on the door of a home to tell a family their loved one has been killed by a speeding truck."

Superintendent Smith added that despite the reduction in the number of heavy vehicles caught speeding in 2012 police and RMS will continue to conduct large scale trucking operations in 2013.

"When it comes to heavy vehicles, there is very little room for error.

"We know that if trucks speed, carry inadequately restrained loads, or are driven by drink or drug-affected drivers, the consequences can be horrific.

"Rest assured, police will continue to work closely with trucking industry leaders who are passionate about road safety, however we will not tolerate the small, rogue element who continue to put lives at risk by speeding and recklessly tampering with their vehicles," Superintendent Smith said.

Mr Gallacher said we are getting more sophisticated at detecting those doing the wrong thing.

“The latest figures show how the introduction of better technology combined with intense enforcement has resulted in a reduction in heavy vehicle speeds during the past year.

“But there is no room for complacency. Heavy vehicle speeding is still a major cause of road fatalities.

“We acknowledge heavy vehicle drivers are at fault in only about 40 per cent of crashes in which they are involved but the risk of fatality in these crashes is very high. By ensuring the vast majority of heavy vehicles are travelling at the speed limit, the severity of those crashes is reduced.

“We want to make speeding for trucks on our roads as socially unacceptable as drink driving and so rare as to be exceptional,” Mr Gay said.

“The message is simple – as the vast majority of people are now complying, the rate of enforcement has more than doubled and time is running out for the rogue heavy vehicle drivers who still think it’s ok to speed.

“It’s not – our attention will now turn to targeting those individuals and trucking companies who aren’t getting the message,” Mr Gay said.

View the original media release:

NSW Government makes massive inroads into heavy vehicle speeding

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