Hundreds of truck drivers caught in police blitz

A dramatic move by police to improve heavy vehicle safety and compliance has seen hundreds of truck drivers in Melbourne issued with infringement notices.

With the police steering their focus towards heavy vehicles, the blitz, which took place in the city’s northern suburbs, detected more than 130 traffic offences over the last two days.

Fawkner Highway Patrol and local police intercepted more than 315 heavy vehicles as part of the operation, which focused on areas with high volume of heavy vehicle traffic.

These areas included Bulla Road, Calder Freeway, Hume Highway, Mickleham Road, Pascoe Vale Road, Somerton Road and Tullamarine Freeway.

At these locations, police conducted vehicle checks and drug and alcohol testing at static sites while using Automatic Numberplate Recognition Technology to scan more than 34,000 vehicles.

As a result, six drug drivers, 21 speeding offences, 20 unroadworthy vehicles, seven mobile phone offences and 16 unregistered vehicles were detected.

Police also issues a series of infringement notices to heavy vehicle drivers that had unsecured loads.

In one of these instances, a truck driver on Tuesday was found to be driving without a seatbelt on.

The next day, he was randomly intercepted by police and was found to be driving without having properly secured his load.

He also allegedly tested positive for cannabis.

Fawkner Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant, Megan Cartledge, warned that this behaviour can lead to “absolutely devastating consequences”.

“It was disappointing to see six drivers behind the wheel of a truck while on drugs,” she said.

“Trucking companies and their drivers are responsible for ensuring compliance with National Heavy Vehicle Law – these standards are in place to ensure the safety of everyone on our roads.

“A heavy vehicle with safety issues creates an enormous risk to both the driver of that vehicle and other road users.

“While the majority do the right thing, we’re imploring drivers to check their vehicle is safe and loads are secure before taking to the roads. This simple action could save a life.”

Fawkner Highway Patrol will continue to run targeted operations to address road safety.

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