Cootes compliance and enforcement decision

10 September 2014

Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay and Chief Executive of Roads and Maritime Services Peter Duncan have commended the work of heavy vehicle compliance officers after a judgement against Cootes Transport was delivered in Downing Centre Court in Sydney.

The company was fined more than $525,000 after pleading guilty to 255 defect, mass and registration offences as a result of intensive compliance operations triggered by a tragic double fatal crash on Mona Vale Road last October.

“Hundreds of hours of inspections and investigations have gone into this compliance action against Cootes. Over the three phases of the compliance operations there were almost 1,000 inspections,” Minister Gay said.

“We have the toughest heavy vehicle enforcement and compliance regime in Australia and today's action is a wake-up call to all transport operators – if you don’t meet our safety standards we will pursue you to the end of the road.

“The key in today’s case was that most of the trucks inspected were not registered in NSW.

“This brings into sharp focus the need for a national standard for truck inspections to ensure a more stringent regime is adopted across Australia, which I have personally called on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and National Transport Commission to establish, Minister Gay said.

“The most serious concerns in the fleet were for major brake and steering defects – for which the court has applied substantial penalties,” Mr Duncan said.

“Since our compliance operation began the company has spent $9 million on maintenance and reduced the size of its fleet, which is a good result for road safety in NSW.

“While the company is certainly headed in the right direction, Roads and Maritime is continuing to work with Cootes to ensure continued improvements in compliance and make sure vehicles operating on NSW roads are safe,” Mr Duncan said.

MEDIA: Marie Scoutas 0467 739 976 Emma Higginson 0467 743 192

View original media release (PDF)

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