Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay today provided a hard warning to trucking operators who choose to flout the law that 2015 was not the year to test the boundaries, with even more safety operations taking to the road.
“For most truckies who do the right thing, thank you for your hard work in keeping our industries and jobs moving. For the rogue operators, who choose to gamble with other people’s lives, my message is clear – don’t take me on,” Mr Gay said.
“We carry out more than 3 million truck screenings at heavy vehicle checking stations along major highways each year, which is by far and away the highest of any state in Australia.
“This year, Roads and Maritime Services and NSW Police Traffic and Highway patrol will carry out a record number of on road safety campaigns and increase truck inspections with a strong focus on speeding and maintenance.
“In 2013, almost 37,000 trucks had on road random inspections, last year this number increased to about 100,000 and in 2015 it will be even higher.
“We know these operations work and since coming into government in March 2011 we have implemented the toughest heavy vehicle and compliance regime this country has ever seen and we’re delivering results.
“Since 2010, we have seen a reduction of more than 60 per cent in truck crashes on NSW roads, which I know has saved lives.
“This government has also increased the number of frontline inspectors to close to 300 while some states have less than 40, these guys work in rain, hail or shine to keep our roads safe.
“What’s more, truckies who want to have a crack and play Russian roulette with the states infrastructure and ruin innocent people’s days this year, you better think again.
“In 2015, we will be increasing the already crippling fine for overheight offences from $2200 to more than $3700 – the highest penalty to be applied for this offence under the road rules.
“If I have to, I will also downgrade or suspend the licences of drivers who recklessly cause damage or disrupt other road users.
“I’m not in the mood for anyone messing around, this year I want to bring our road toll down lower than it’s ever been and if you even think about risking other people’s lives, I will come down on you like a tonne of bricks.”