Overheight trucks face the toughest penalties

Thursday 14 November 2013

Overheight trucks face the toughest penalties in Australia

Roads Minister Duncan Gay today warned rogue truck operators they face the toughest penalties in Australia for overheight vehicles and damage to tunnels and other road and bridge infrastructure.

“If you are driving into one of our tunnels, you make damn sure you are doing the right thing because we will come after you with every penalty we can,” Minister Gay said.

“I’m as furious as the motorists caught in today’s incident on the M5 East Motorway. It has come at a high cost to the network and to the tunnel itself.

“Not only are these drivers putting themselves and other drivers in danger – it’s plain idiotic given the fines and penalties that result for them and their owner operators.

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government introduced the toughest penalties for overheight truck offences in the country – and we make no apologies for it.

“It beggars belief – some of these drivers are putting their truck into gear before they put their brain into gear.

“Drivers of overheight vehicles face a fine of more than $2200 and 6 demerit points, plus we can ground a truck by suspending registration for three months – in today’s case that was done on the spot.

“We can also pursue transport companies with fines of up to $27,000 for a first offence and $55,000 for second offences.

“These fines are in addition to compensation we can pursue for damage they have caused to the tunnel and associated infrastructure.

“NSW Police and Roads and Maritime Services heavy vehicle inspectors are carrying out their investigations to determine what action is appropriate in this case.

“Repair costs associated with these incidents range from around $10,000 when an overheight vehicle hits a steel overhead beam, to more than $1 million, which was the cost to repair the M5 East Tunnel after an incident in May 2010.

“Operators may also face compensatory damages such as the successful prosecution of two companies who were ordered to pay $1.4 million for damage to the Maitland Pedestrian Bridge.

“In that case prosecution was launched against all parties in the supply chain,” Minister Gay said.

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

View the original media release (PDF)

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