First overheight trucks ordered off the road

28 October 2013

First overheight trucks ordered off the road under tough new penalties

Roads Minister Duncan Gay today announced the first trucks to be deregistered for entering Sydney tunnels with overheight loads, under tough new penalties aimed at preventing traffic chaos and damage to infrastructure.

Mr Gay said he was disappointed overheight trucks were still trying to get through areas like the Sydney Harbour Tunnel and the Eastern Distributor.

“We have tough penalties on truck drivers of fines over $2200 and 6 demerit points but the message hasn’t made it through to operators of these rogue companies,” Minister Gay said.

“New laws were introduced in July this year which allow us to hit operators where it hurts and suspend a vehicle’s registration for up to three months if it’s driven into a tunnel when overheight.

“Today three operators have been advised of registration suspensions that will send a strong message to the heavy vehicle sector, especially in the lead up to the busy Christmas season.

“Unfortunately a minority of operators put the rest of the heavy vehicle industry in the spotlight but we make no apologies for taking this hard line.

“The overheight truck driven into the Eastern Distributor last Friday causing damage to the sprinkler system and more than two hours of delays for motorists, has been deregistered for three months.

“While I photographed the truck coincidentally in north Sydney a short time later and he was quickly located by RMS heavy vehicle inspectors, the driver is also being penalised for failing to stop.

“It is an opportune reminder for any motorist with safety concerns over a truck on our roads they can report them to our heavy vehicle hotline 1300 STOP HV or 1300 786 748.

“Another two trucks have had their registrations suspended today for 28 days after they closed the Sydney Harbour Tunnel for almost 20 minutes earlier this month, causing significant delays.

“A fourth interstate operator from Western Australia has also had his visiting rights into NSW revoked for 3 months after also closing the Sydney Harbour Tunnel for 20 minutes last Thursday.

“These drivers ignored countless signs and warning devices and had to be reversed out of the tunnel which choked the main arterial routes to the CBD. 

“Apart from these penalties, we can still pursue fines against the company and penalties for directors and managers for not taking reasonable steps to prevent these dangerous incidents.

“For anyone wanting to test my resolve, these deregistrations should make it very clear, don’t put your truck into gear, before you put your brain into gear,” Minister Gay said.

Media: Marie Scoutas 0467 739 976 or Lance Northey 0467 743 192

View original media release

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