Truckie fined



A TRUCK driver has been fined $1000 in Grafton Local Court for failing to take an adequate number of rest stops on a long haul between Lismore and Albury.

Yesterday Ralph John Close, a driver for a Lismore-based truck company, was fined for driving without 10 hours rest in a 24-hour period and for exceeding the maximum driving time of 12 hours.

The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) was able to bring the charges against Close based on photographic evidence taken from its statewide Safe-T-Cam network.

Close was filmed passing the Harwood Bridge camera at 6.59pm on November 3 last year before another camera picked him up at Albury the following day at 4.17pm. It took Close 21 hours and 18 minutes to complete the 1173km journey ? 2 hours and 57 minutes less than the minimum standard set by the RTA. Close's solicitor defended his client, saying Close was an experienced driver who had taken 9 of the 10 rest hours for a 24hour driving period as specified by the RTA.

Magistrate Schnelle appreciated Close was a 'good, hard-working man', but said she had to enforce a rule that was there for his and the community's safety.

Close was fined $500 on each charge and ordered to pay a further $526 in court costs.



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