Unsettling results from highway intercept
DRIVERS are still risking their safety on the road according to results from a roadside Traffic Task Force operation late last month.
Eight officers were deployed to the Coffs/Clarence and Mid-North Coast Police districts and, with the assistance of RMS Heavy Vehicle Inspectors, conducted mobile and stationary enforcement along the Pacific Highway between Port Macquarie and Ballina.
The focus of the operation centred on fatigue related offences, loading and restraint offences, alcohol and drug driving offence and the general maintenance and safety of Heavy Vehicles using this Highway. The operation also consisted of a stationary enforcement component which was conducted at the Pine Creek and Halfway Creek Heavy Vehicle Inspection Stations.
Of the 347 heavy vehicles intercepted, five heavy vehicle drivers tested positive to illicit drugs consisting of methamphetamine and cocaine. One heavy vehicle driver returned a positive detection to methamphetamine on his second test. and was subsequently prohibited from driving for a 24-hour period.
Almost 90 National Driver Work Diary Traffic Infringement Notices were issues to heavy vehicle drivers for a range of offences and 101 charges are to be laid on heavy vehicle drivers for National Driver Work Diary issues relating to severe and critical breaches of hours and administrative work diary issues.
Forty-seven heavy vehicle Electronic Control Module downloads were conducted. Seven of these were found to be non compliant with ADR 65/00 in that police were unable to connect to the ECM, tyre and diff sizing recorded wrong and VSL protecting RPM set to high. Seven Defect Traffic Infringement Notices were issued for a range of issues identified relating to heavy vehicle operators and drivers contravening the standards. One driver was also charged with having a severe dimension breach on his attached heavy vehicle trailer.
347 heavy vehicles intercepted
320 random roadside breath tests
200 mobile drug tests
101 charges laid for work diary issues
89 infringement notices for a range of fatigue-related breaches
7 non-compliance ECMs
7 defect traffic infringement notices
1 charge for severe dimension breach on attached heavy vehicle trailer