Truckies pulled over in a joint two-day compliance operation in Townsville this week have got the thumbs-up from police.
When Big Rigs spoke to Highway Patrol Townsville officer in charge, Senior Sergeant Robert Nalder, he was impressed with what he was seeing from drivers at the weighbridge at Port Access Road.
“I can tell you that yesterday [Wednesday, October 12] during the day, and today [October 13] during the day we haven’t given out any infringements to truck drivers,” said Sen-Sgt Nalder whose team was working with the Department of Transport and Main Roads inspectors.
“All-in-all, they do the right thing, and we’re very happy with the response from the truckies.
“They’re happy to talk to us and they’re happy to do the road-side breath test and drug test.
“We’re working with truckies to help keep them safe, because remembering this year we’ve lost 50 people in, or driving a heavy vehicle, so we want to reduce that and this reminds everyone about the reasons why we do what we do.”
Sen-Sgt Nalder says the police will also always try and prioritise education before fines.
“Sometimes education over ticketing someone is good, but we do have to be cognicent of what that issue is that we’re talking about.”
Sen-Sgt Nalder conceded that police, outside of the specialised heavy vehicles unit, generally don’t have the technical expertise to probe too closely, as our readers regularly point out on our Facebook page.
“We specialise in mostly other vehicles, but let’s be honest, what we’re looking at are minor things in the log books, excess hours and fatigue management type of stuff, so we do have some knowledge base on these issues.
“But also any police officer has the ability to have a quick inspection of a vehicle and identify any defects, and that’s no different with a truck….you’ve got a bald tyre you, you don’t have a horn, your lights don’t work.
“So I do appreciate what they’re saying [Big Rigs’ readers] and the Transport Main Roads guys are the experts, that’s why they’re here to assist us. We let them deal with that. We deal with the other stuff.
“So there’s a place for everybody. We do less of what we don’t know.”
Sen-Sgt Nader says truckies are doing a good job and the community appreciates what they do for them.
“But be aware, everybody’s actions are on display. Be aware of what’s going on around you and what’s going on in your vehicle. Be attentive at all times.
“Remember, 233 people killed on Queensland roads so far this year. It’s absolutely tragic, and we have to try and do everything in our power to reduce this.”