n Australia, particularly New South Wales, over 300 trucks were pulled over for an operation conducted by New South Wales (NSW) Police Force and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). The measure was called Operation Uplink.
The operation was conducted in three days (between Tuesday 24 throughout Wednesday 26). Operation uplink was intentionally conducted to check trucks and its defects, as well as truck drivers who exceed the limit in Moree and Narrandera.
Ailstair Brightman NSW Police Force and RMS targeted heavy trucks as a part of the vehicle’s compliance on the Sturt Highway at Moree and the Newell Highway at Narrandera. As a result, over 300 were pulled over and issued with violation notices. Out of the 300 trucks, 64 were defective and 54 incurred traffic infringement violations. Both violations fall under non-compliance to highway policies.
During the inspection, several truckers were also issued notices due to speeding through the Roads and Maritime work sites where five truckers were caught. Also, workbook breaches and defective tires were also reported.
Moreover, three among the trucks were found to have unsecured loads, which also violated the highway’s safety and security rules. This had earned more notices aside from the ones issued earlier to the other trucks.
Seemingly, all truck drivers went through the 108 random breath tests conducted by the police, which caught eight drivers due to varied offences. All of the drivers guilty of non-compliance to highway regulations were issued notices due to unsecure loads, driving even when under fatigue conditions and driving under the influence. Due to these offences incurred by drivers and their trucking companies, Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley had expressed concern over the result of the inspection.
“I am disturbed to hear during the inspection of 114 trucks, 24 were found to have had the engine control modules allegedly tampered with to increase their speed. Those drivers or operators who have their trucks set at more than 100km/h need to get the message the Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce will continue to drive speeding out of the industry. Truck drivers who think they can use the Newell or Sturt Highways or any NSW roads, as speed corridors need to think again. At a time when we have been able to reduce heavy-vehicle related fatalities by at least 36% and prevented the death of 26 people compared to this time last year, some operators and drivers continue to break the law, putting themselves and other road users at risk.”
“We will continue to work closely with the Roads and Maritime Service in prosecuting companies and drivers who have been detected deliberately tampering with speed limiting devices in order to gain some sort of competitive advantage, at the risk of road safety in NSW,” Hartley said.
In agreement, Roads and Maritime Services Director of Customer and Compliance, Peter Wells, also said that the result of the three-day inspection is no doubt similar with the previous inspections and operations. Wells admitted the honesty and decency reflected by heavy truck drivers, operators and owners in working out well, so as to abide by the rules and regulations. Still, load security, heavy vehicle maintenance and fatigue-related issues are dominant, and this reflects a high level of non-compliance to Roads and Maritime work site highway laws. The concerned are then subject to further monitoring and inspection.
“Previous intelligence gained through Operations South and Candid identified similar levels of non-compliance and demonstrates the need for continued operations along the length of the Newell Highway. Roads and Maritime will continue to work with NSW police, other road agencies and interstate police to address dangerous behaviors within the heavy vehicle industry and to target the entire logistics supply chain both on and off road, particularly those which show a blatant disregard for the law. We support heavy vehicle operators who do the right thing and target heavy vehicle operators and their supply chain partners who do wrong things. They can be assured Roads and Maritime and NSW Police will continue to deploy the joint heavy vehicle taskforce to combat these practices in a committed and ongoing way,” said Wells.
To sum it up, the Operation Uplink found varied violations or non-compliance, which resulted to having drivers issued with notices. In Sturt Highway Narrandera, 2 vehicles were found with unsecured or dangerous loads, court attendance notices issued to 6 drivers, 14 trucks found with faulty or tampered Engine Control Modules (ECM), 16 notices were issued for infringement, 35 notices issued for defective trucks, 46 random breath tests were conducted, and 119 trucks intercepted.
As for Newell Highway, Moree, 1 vehicle was found with unsecured or dangerous load, 2 court attendance notices were issued, 10 trucks were found with faulty or tampered Engine Control Modules (ECM), 29 notices issued for defective trucks, 38 notices issued for infringement issues, 62 random breath tests were conducted and 181 trucks were intercepted.
About Operation Uplink
Operation Uplink is one of the largest organizations of combat veterans launched in 1996. The program is dedicated to at least a three-day operation. The said operation is usually conducted by military men or service members. It is designed to be conducted once a month.
It has been adopted by the police force, so that members of Operation Uplink can include service members, military men or police men. They are then deployed to a specific location for duty. The program is also called a calling program, which enables communication to active-duty service men. On-duty officers can then communicate to the home base or main office location for progress. Because of Operation Uplink, most operations have become easier and convenient to different organizations that adopt it.