Overheight vehicle operators that breach restrictions and repeatedly interrupt traffic in New South Wales could now lose their registrations for up to six months.
The NSW Government has established a taskforce responsible for reducing the number of overheight truck incidents in Sydney’s road tunnel network, particularly around the Sydney Harbour Tunnel.
Under an agreement with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), all overheight breaches are being automatically referred to Transport for NSW for assessment of sanctions that include removal of a heavy vehicle’s registration for up to six months.
The new taskforce, led by Transport for NSW, brings together representatives from NSW Police, the NHVR, Road Freight NSW and the Transport Workers’ Union to drive strategies to reduce overheight breaches, educate truck drivers on load and route management and improve operational responses to get traffic moving when incidents do occur.
Established under direction of Minister for Roads, John Graham, the group will meet each fortnight and will initially run for six months – but can be extended if necessary.
“We are determined to keep the focus on this issue and drive down the number of overheight truck breaches around tunnels and I welcome the first referrals by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator,” Graham said.
“We need to send a message loud and clear that there are severe consequences for going overheight into a tunnel.
“No company or individual can afford to have an income-making heavy vehicle off the road for six months.”
The overheight truck taskforce will consider surveillance and other technologies that could be further deployed to detect heavy vehicles from getting close to tunnel portals before being stopped.
Since the taskforce’s establishment, the NSW Government has announced that the overheight truck that closed two lanes of the Warringah Freeway and stopped traffic at the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel will have its registration suspended for six months.