Overheight or overlength trucks - new sanctions

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Overheight or overlength trucks to be hit with tough new sanctions

Roads Minister Duncan Gay has ordered tough new deterrents to help stop the traffic chaos caused by overheight or overlength trucks on Sydney’s road network.

Mr Gay said he was as frustrated as motorists and businesses whenever an overheight or overlength truck caused serious disruption to the road network by getting stuck in a tunnel or Galston Gorge.

"Despite penalties of $2200 and the loss of six demerit points against drivers, we’re still seeing too many of these trucks in restricted areas," Mr Gay said.

"Most truck drivers do the right thing and stick to the roads they are allowed to use but for the few rogue drivers who choose to move off the approved route, we will ensure the consequences discourage them from doing it twice.

"I’ve ordered reforms to come into effect by the end of June that would allow RMS to suspend the registration of any heavy vehicle for three months if drivers disobey warning devices and travel onwards into tunnels or Galston Gorge.

"Let me be clear, simply passing one of these warning signs which advises drivers they cannot enter a restricted area can trigger these new penalties.

“This would have the same effect of impounding a heavy vehicle without the added burden of dealing with the costs of towing, storage and dealing with any freight or goods being carried.

“We’ll be going about this fairly and will ensure there is also clear signage before overheight or overlength trucks enter a restricted area to make it clear they could lose their registration for 3 months.

"Interstate vehicles who decide to flout the law in NSW will also find taking a short cut could cost them dearly.

“Apart from a fine and demerit points they also risk losing their right to travel through NSW until a suspension of up to three months is served.

"The changes will also make it easier for us to pursue commercial operators and companies in the chain of responsibility so they can be required to show they had taken reasonable steps to ensure a vehicle was not driven onto restricted parts of the road network.

"Offending trucking companies risk having to pay the cost of tow trucks, staff and any other resources essential to the removal of a heavy vehicle which becomes stuck.

“We will also be able to seek compensation for damage to infrastructure caused by the breach.

“This is all about targeting the people in the best position to ensure there’s compliance, from consignors and loaders to the managers of companies.

“Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) will also help GPS companies to develop ways to identify these restricted routes to help drivers make good decisions on the road in the future.

“This is not just a matter of preventing traffic congestion, this is also about improving road safety,” Mr Gay said.
Media: Lance Northey and Marie Scoutas 9228 5271

View the original media release (PDF):
Overheight or overlength trucks to be hit with tough new sanctions. 

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