Cootes compliance sees another truck grounded

Thursday 5 December 2013

Cootes compliance operation sees another truck grounded

Minister for Roads and Ports Duncan Gay today announced the grounding of a Cootes Transport LPG tanker following the discovery of a gas leak on the truck.

Minister Gay said that apart from the action to ground the truck by Roads and Maritime Services, the EPA has also served a Prohibition Notice on the vehicle preventing it from operating until further notice.

“We have been taking action against Cootes Transport since the fatal petrol tanker crash on Mona Vale Road in early October, intercepting and inspecting 520 trucks, issuing 421 defect notices including 224 major defect notices and grounding 10 vehicles,” Minister Gay said.

“In partnership with NSW Police, our compliance and enforcement campaign continues to intercept and inspect Cootes trucks across the state for roadworthiness.

“I am absolutely astonished we continue to uncover serious defects in the Cootes Transport petrol and gas tanker fleet.

“Despite assurances from the company’s Board of Directors and management they were on top of compliance issues within their tanker fleet, I’m quickly losing patience.

“The responsibility for vehicle maintenance sits firmly with the company. RMS and NSW Police will continue to act in the interest of the broader community to keep unsafe trucks off our roads.

“The short story is if they don't shape up, we will have no choice but to ground the Cootes fuel tanker fleet in NSW. We have a clear duty of care to other road users.

“The head of the company has been put on notice under national Chain of Responsibility legislation that the Board of Directors and management are responsible for the safety and roadworthiness of its fleet.

“In addition, RMS has directed parent company McAleese Group to provide a full account of the measures being taken to resolve the systemic safety issues within the company.

“There are hundreds of drivers and trucks ready to take on the business if they continue to operate with defective vehicles.

“RMS will exercise its powers within the full extent of the law to make our roads safe and get unsafe trucks off NSW roads,” Minister Gay said.

Today’s action follows an incident last week when an LPG tanker was detected at Mount White Heavy Vehicle safety station with a leaking gas valve.

NSW Hazmat provided a temporary fix for the leak and ordered the driver to go directly to Taree where it was to have been permanently repaired before resuming service.

The same truck was detected at Mount White travelling in the opposite direction early Saturday morning. The repair work had not been completed.

Yesterday RMS inspectors, NSW Police and HazMat emergency personnel evacuated the Heavy Vehicle Safety Station at Marulan after another Cootes LPG tanker was found with a leak.

After the closure, staff carried out a full inspection of the truck with a view to further action under chain of responsibility enforcement powers.

Media: Marie Scoutas 0467 739 976
View the original media release (PDF).

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