Over 330 drivers intercepted in Riverina heavy vehicle blitz

More than 330 heavy vehicles were intercepted as part of a four-day blitz in NSW’s Riverina region last week, with 77 infringement notices issued.

Dubbed Operation Convoy (Regional), the blitz was established by officers from the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command – Riverina Sector and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command says the blitz – which took place between Tuesday March 12 and Friday March 15 – targeted heavy vehicle compliance and driver behaviour, focussing on heavy vehicles travelling through the Murray River, Murrumbidgee, and Riverina Police Districts, on known main arterial roads and surrounding feeder roads.

The 77 heavy vehicle infringement notices were issued for a range of offences relating to fatigue, load restraint and dimensional breaches.

A further 21 defects and 50 cautions were also issued, though further details around this have not been released.

Officers also conducted 314 random roadside drug tests, with nine positive results obtained.

Of the more serious offences recorded was from a B-double driver who directed into the NHVR Coolac Inspection site, with the driver found to have a falsified diary, fatigue breaches, over hours and testing positive to methamphetamine.

Another B-double driver intercepted at the same site was found to have eight fatigue breaches, two of which were labelled “critical”.

77 heavy vehicle infringement notices were issued for a range of offences. Image: NSW Police

The driver of a truck towing a 16-tonne horse float carrying three horses also landed in hot water, with the driver failing to record work diary entries for the last month and admitting to running two work diaries. Due to major fatigue concerns by police, the driver was issued a notice not to drive for 24 hours.

Superintendent Robert Toynton from the South West Region Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said the police operation was sparked by recent incidents.

“There were 314 fatal crashes in New South Wales in 2023, with 31 of those fatal crashes occurring in the Murray River, Murrumbidgee, and Riverina regions – 10 of those crashes involving heavy vehicles. There were a further 37 serious injury road crashes involving heavy vehicles,” he said.

“The cost of road trauma to the community is significant, including human, social and financial considerations.

“We strongly encourage drivers of heavy vehicles to ensure they are practicing safety at all times. This means checking your load, taking regular breaks, and complying with road rules and relevant legislation.

“Heavy vehicles remain over-represented in serious crashes, and we want to reduce this as much as possible.”

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