Austrans: Distribution centre at Huntingwood targeted

JOINT Heavy Vehicle Taskforce Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and Roads and Maritime Service working during Operation Austrans have expanded their compliance program to include inspection of the operations at a Distribution Centre at Huntingwood (NSW), along with trucks entering and leaving the site.

Police say as a result of the operation, 111 trucks and trailers were inspected resulting in 22 defects being issued for a range of mechanical faults such as brakes, tyre wear, oil leaks and suspension.

They say 29 infringements were issued for loads not being properly restrained, loads being overweight, and work diary offences.

While a further 23 drivers were issued directions to properly secure their loads before either entering or leaving the distribution centre.

Officers conducted 149 random breath tests and 38 drug tests, all of which proved negative.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, Commander of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, said it was imperative drivers ensured their loads were properly secured at all times.

"Unsecured loads are not only a risk to other road users, those unloading the goods at Distribution Centres are also placed at risk," Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

"To see some trucks come in with broken gates, and significant amounts of goods not strapped down and only held in by side curtains, is a serious issue for the transport and distribution industries.

"When inspecting one of the loads, a gate gave way which struck one officer and nearly hit others, which is a prime example of why loads need to be properly secured."

Mr Peter Wells, Director of Safety and Compliance for Roads and Maritime Services, said inspections of distribution centres will continue to ensure the industry is operating in a safe and compliant manner.

"Today's operation comes after other distribution centres have been inspected by the Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce with mixed results."

"We will continue to engage with Distribution Centres and Transport Operators to ensure their load practices are compliant and to underpin a safe and productive freight industry in NSW."

Operation Austrans continues to focus on heavy vehicle compliance across Australia throughout May and June.

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