NSW overheight penalties prove successful

New South Wales records lowest number of overheight truck incidents in seven years

Incidents involving overheight trucks have dropped to their lowest level since 2017 in New South Wales.

The data comes after the NSW government introduced harsher penalties for truckies involved in incidents earlier this year.

Following a number of compliance incidents, state government officials increased the on-the-spot fine from $1888 to $4097, with the courts now able to impose a maximum fine of $5500.

Drivers with overheight vehicles can also lose their licence for six months, while penalties have also doubled from six demerit points to 12.

To date, there have been 107 overheight trucks incidents in 2023, down from a high last year of 161.

Roads minister John Graham says the NSW government is firm in its commitment to stop overheight truck incidents.

“Incidents are dramatically down in November with just four breaches recorded but we cannot and will not claim the job is done as it still only takes one overheight incident to ruin the day of driver’s all over Sydney,” Graham says.

“The vast majority of truckies and operators do the right thing, but the public have no patience for any unnecessary incidents involving overheight trucks.”

Under a deal with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in June, all incidents of overheight breaches in tunnels are now being referred straight to Transport for sanction.

There were four overheight incidents recorded in November this year, compared to 25 in November 2022.

NHVR chairperson Duncan Grey says drivers need to be adhering to the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

“Our working relationships are key in the management of overheight incidents across the Sydney tunnel network, essentially involving the coordinated actions of four parties – the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), the NSW Police Force, Motorway Tunnel operators and managers and Transport for NSW,” Grey says.

“The efforts include educating industry through advertising on social media, online, radio and through key trucking channels, developing a brochure which was translated into three languages for NHVR Safety and Compliance officers to hand out at Heavy Vehicle Safety Stations, and investigating other parties in the Chain of Responsibility that may have been contributing to these incidents.”

The Sydney Harbour Tunnel, which is impacted by the most overheight breaches, has recorded a 22 percent decrease this year.

The M5 East Tunnel has also seen a 65 percent reduction in incidents and a nearly 43 percent decrease has been noted at the Lane Cove Tunnel.

This year, 19 heavy vehicles have been stripped of their registration, taking them off our roads for up to six months, and a further 21 drivers have had their licence suspended.


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