Date PostedApril 30, 2013

Disappointing Results From Operation Steel

Steel - TacludaSenior New South Wales Police Officers have expressed their disappointment after running Operation Steel 3 on the 16th and 17th April and issuing over 150 defect notices as they focused on heavy vehicles.

Over 337 trucks were assessed over the two-day period in the Botany Bay and Wetherill Park areas and along the M5 at Kingsgrove. Police are dismayed at the number of trucks that they found to be operating dangerously.

At there is more information on the things the New South Wales Police found during Operation Steel 3:

NSW Police says the number of defects issued “has left senior police dismayed”, with Smith saying he is “fed up with rogue trucks”.

“Half of the trucks we inspected were found to be dangerous in one way or another. Of those that had their speed limiters checked, one in four were found to be defective,” Smith says.

“What will it take for some of these companies to abide by the law? Another triple-fatal crash? Another family’s life destroyed?”

Along with 154 defects issued for a range of problems, including five trucks with defective speed limiters, officers issued 136 penalty notices breaches for excessive load dimensions, worn tyres and defective brakes.

The results have prompted NSW Police to express concern about safety standards in the industry. The RMS, too, labelled the results “very disappointing”.

“We call on the heavy vehicle industry to maintain their trucks in good working order for the safety of all road users,” RMS Director of Customer and Compliance Peter Wells says.

“The high number of defects detected in these trucks requires executives and managers of trucking companies to look hard at their maintenance and strongly reduce the level of defects in their fleet.”

NSW Police says one truck inspected in Botany yesterday evening had a defective speed limiter to allow it to potentially travel at 193km/h – almost double the speed limit for trucks in NSW.

Another truck was grounded after authorities stationed on the M5 at Kingsgrove discovered a major brake defect on the vehicle.

Meanwhile, a truck was stopped at Port Botany after police discovered many of the dilapidated car parts it was hauling were not secured.

Operation Steel was put together in the wake of two major crashes in which load-shifts within trucks were allegedly a contributing factor.

Smith says some serious crashes in 2012 were allegedly due to trucks breaking the speed limit or carrying unrestrained loads.

“In short, a truck that exceeds the speed limit, or a truck with an inadequately restrained load, is a threat to human life. Based on the disappointing results we have seen over the past two days, it seems some truckies do not realise this,” he says.

In a blunt warning to the trucking industry, Smith has also indicated further joint operations similar to Operation Steel 3 are on the cards this year.

“Let me be clear. We will continue with enforcement. We are not going away.”


When freight companies and everyone in the chain of responsibility does not follow the required regulations then people’s lives are at risk which is the strong message that the New South Wales Police Force are trying to get across.

All people that make decisions or act within the chain of responsibility can be held legally accountable for breaches of the regulations.

With Operation Steel 3 there were numerous breaches of these regulations at different levels that could have put the drivers life as well as other road users at risk.

Peter Cutforth is a Director at Urban E-Learning, a global elearning and web strategy firm based in George St Brisbane. Peter's interests extend to training, safety and compliance, online marketing, and Mobile Apps.

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