Distribution Centre focus of operation

Distribution Centre focus of operation

12 February 2014

Coles may be served with improvement notices after a snap operation found multiple breaches for load restraint at its distribution centre at Smeaton Grange today.

The Roads and Maritime Services and NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol joint heavy vehicle taskforce started inspections on site around 5am after several months’ investigation.

Roads and Maritime Services Director Safety and Compliance Peter Wells said M&R Transport and Coles were the focus of today’s operation.

“We carried out more than 60 inspections of vehicles across these and other companies.

“We found 13 minor defects, nine load restraint breaches, one major defect, one weight breach, two unregistered vehicles and other issues which were rectified on site before the trucks allowed to move on.”

Immigration checks were carried out on 14 operators who were subsequently cleared.

“Roads and Maritime and NSW Police will seek to ensure Coles improves its loading practices at its distribution centre and improves management of heavy vehicle driver fatigue,” Mr Wells said.

“Management from Coles and other heavy vehicle companies involved have cooperated with the inspections and have been informed of the alleged breaches,” he said.

“Unsafe practices such as fatigue breaches, mass breaches and substandard loading practices and load restraint will not be tolerated on NSW roads.”

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said the taskforce was formed to encourage and enforce compliance within the heavy vehicle industry.

“Today’s operation shows this joint approach is working and working extremely well. When we hear about a particular issue within the industry, we are able to respond swiftly and effectively.

“I am not at all surprised load restraint is one of the biggest issues identified. This is something we are seeing when we pull up heavy vehicles, loads which are not properly held in place, endangering other motorists.”

The Roads and Maritime Services and NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol joint heavy vehicle taskforce will continue to target distribution centres this year to ensure safe practices are employed.

“NSW has the toughest heavy vehicle checking regime in Australia. We understand it is only a minority of operators doing the wrong thing and we will get the rogue operators off the road for the safety of all road users,” Mr Wells said.

CONTACT:  Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit:  8588 5999

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