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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

Operation Austrans Enters Phase Two

A cross-jurisdictional operation, focusing on the heavy vehicle road transport sector across Australia and New Zealand, kicked off yesterday with a national day of drug testing.

Operation Austrans Phase Two, which runs for 13 days until Saturday 9 December, will target heavy vehicle illegal activities such as drink and drug driving, speed, general traffic offences, fatigue, compliance and driver behaviour issues within the road transport industry.

Road Policing Operations Superintendent John Fitzpatrick said despite efforts to improve safety standards in the transport sector, heavy vehicles continue to be over-represented in road trauma.

“Comprising less than four per cent of the national road fleet, heavy vehicles are involved in around 17 per cent of road fatalities nationally,” Superintendent Fitzpatrick said.

“The heavy vehicle transport industry in Australia, through pure geography has to grapple with from long travel distances. When coupled with strong competition for the transport dollar we want to make sure that safety is not sacrificed for the sake of profit.

“I want to make it clear, I am not referring to all operators, the majority of the transport sector work very hard to adhere to and strive for safe and compliant industry practices.

“It is the minority that tarnish the perception of the industry and this is who we are targeting.

Victoria conducted 173 preliminary drug tests yesterday with four drivers found to have returned a positive result.

Throughout the 13 day operation, police nationwide will be looking at factors that contribute to heavy vehicle road trauma.

Possible offences police will target in the coming days include; driver work diary non-compliance, drug driving, speeding, not wearing seatbelts, licensing and registration, general roadworthiness and mass, dimension and load breaches.

Operation Austrans, with participation across Australia and New Zealand, has been conducted annually since 1989.

This is the first year the operation has been spread over two phases with the first phase running from 20 March to 1 April earlier this year.

Superintendent Fitzpatrick said it is pleasing to have support from all jurisdictions.

“Austrans is a collaborative effort. In monitoring adherence to road and operational safety issues in the heavy vehicle road transport sector we all aim to improve the safety on our roads.”

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