Police get heavy on truckies on Queensland roads

QUEENSLAND roads are now even safer after the completion of Operation Austrans, an annual initiative in Australia and New Zealand targeting heavy vehicle road-safety issues, including fatigue, speed and drug use.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey joined Deputy Police Commissioner Ross Barnett to mark the completion of the operation.

"More than 12,500 heavy vehicles were inspected throughout the state and officers issued 216 speeding infringement notices and 127 fines for driving without a seat belt," Mr Dempsey said.

"Rogue drivers and transport companies need to know that they won't get away with breaking the law.

"While most truck drivers and companies do the right thing, some are continuing to put the lives of other road users at risk."

The Queensland Police Service took part in the operation by enforcing compliance of road safety and workplace safety-related legislation among heavy vehicle drivers, transport companies and other industry stakeholders.

The operation, conducted throughout the state by Road Policing Command officers, started at 12.01am on May 12 and concluded at 11.59pm on June 8.

Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said fatigue in the heavy vehicle industry was a major concern for police agencies.

"The biggest contributing factor in road crashes involving heavy vehicles is driver fatigue," Deputy Commissioner Barnett said.

"Police detected 794 fatigue related offences. A total of 280 drivers were found to have exceeded their work hours and failed to take a required rest break.

"Out of 1,077 roadside drug tests, 20 drivers returned alleged positive readings. Out of 11,369 roadside breath tests conducted, 11 drivers returned alleged positive readings.

"Most professional drivers take their business and their safety responsibilities very seriously. However, there are a few heavy vehicle companies and drivers who operate unsafely.

"Heavy vehicle operators need to be warned of the risks they run.When heavy vehicles collide with smaller cars or motorbikes, the results can be catastrophic. The risk of serious injury or death is much higher.

"The Queensland Police Service aims to ensure not only that heavy vehicles are safe for our road systems, but also to remind other road users to be vigilant and aware of their mutual responsibilities on our roads."



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