A 43-year-old Slacks Creek man has been fined over $4000 for driving an unsafe vehicle, unsecured load, severely exceeding standard work hours, driving an over-height vehicle, driving an overweight vehicle and failing to produce a work diary.
On July 1, officers from the Queensland Police Service’s (QPS) Heavy Vehicle Enforcement Team intercepted a semi-trailer at Burpengary that had travelled from Townsville.
It is also alleged that the driver was also unable to produce a National Drivers Work Diary and admitted he had exceeded his permitted work time by several hours.
A vehicle inspection found the trailer to be badly affected by rust, major structural issues and bearing bald tyres, said police in a media statement.
The inspection also found the load was improperly restrained, with badly worn-out restraints and tie-down points in need of repair or replacement, allege police who later released the below video of the intercept.
The vehicle was grounded from further use and the driver was required to rest for a minimum of seven hours.
Sergeant Paul Kelly said irresponsible driver behaviour in the heavy vehicle space could have particularly catastrophic consequences.
“When a vehicle of this size is not maintained, it seriously increases the risk of it being involved in an incident. Additionally, when you have a fatigued driver at the wheel, those risks are exponentially increased,” Sergeant Kelly said.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, and being a responsible driver includes adequately maintaining your vehicle and being rested before you embark on any trip.
“With the long distances travelled by many professional drivers, it is critical to take fatigue seriously to ensure a safer driver for you and other road users.
“Thankfully, we managed to intercept this driver before any damage was done.”
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) chief operating officer Paul Salvati said those who breach their safety responsibilities – from the executive to the driver – need to be held accountable.
“We know the majority of the heavy vehicle industry manage their safety obligations effectively, however, there continues to be a small cohort of companies and drivers that do the wrong thing,” said Salvati.
“It’s important we adopt a targeted approach to compliance and enforcement, that focuses on high-risk offenders that pose the greatest safety risk to road users.”