Criminal convictions and fines for breaches of heavy vehicle fatigue management

20 October 2014

Roads and Maritime Services has welcomed more than $336,000 in fines and costs and criminal convictions recorded against directors of McCabe Transport for breaches of heavy vehicle fatigue laws.

Roads and Maritime Services Safety and Compliance Director Peter Wells said Roads and Maritime investigated the Unanderra based company and earlier this year laid 235 charges for fatigue management offences committed in 2011 and 2012.

“The offences related largely to false and misleading work-diary entries, with some offences also relating directly to the hours worked by the driver in terms of fatigue breaches,” Mr Wells said.

“Under Chain of Responsibility legislation, the employer and director and other parties may be held liable for the conduct of its employees.

“This sends a powerful message to industry that courts will not tolerate this illegal and dangerous behaviour to those in the supply chain who place demands on others to drive when fatigued or to speed.

“Fatigue is one of the biggest killers on our roads and the practices identified here are dangerous. There can and will be consequences for those who seek to obtain a commercial advantage by forcing drivers to drive longer hours than is deemed legally safe.

“The whole supply chain needs to take a look at its business practices and systems.”

Mr Wells said Roads and Maritime was continuing with inquiries into other companies and individuals who may be forcing others into this dangerous behaviour.

A sentencing decision late on Friday saw McCabe Transport fined a total of $236,721, fines against Anthony McCabe of $14,287 for his role in preparing schedules for his drivers who travelled through NSW, South Australia and Victoria transporting goods,” he said.

“The discrepancies were discovered when the driver's log books were compared to other business items such as fuel receipts, toll statements and loading and unloading records at various pick up and delivery sites.

“The drivers themselves were the main complainants as the culture within the company was forcing them to commit systematic breaches in order to meet unrealistic timeframes.

“Breaches included false and misleading work diaries, and breaches of the maximum allowable work time without rest.”

Mr Wells said aside from the fatigue law breaches, the company was also fined $16,875 for failing to comply with a statutory direction issued by Roads and Maritime Services to produce documents.

The company will also pay costs against Roads and Maritime of $85,000.

CONTACT: Roads and Maritime Services Media Unit: 8588 5999

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