MORE than 50 per cent of the trucks and trailers inspected in a three-day road safety blitz in the south-west this week were found to have a defect.
A VicRoads spokeswoman said 101 trucks and trailers were inspected and 54 defect notices issued.
The spokeswoman said the blitz, which also involved WorkSafe and sheriffs from the Department of Justice, targeted load security and general roadworthy and maintenance issues.
The blitz focused on trucks and trailers operating between the Port of Portland and south-west logging yards.
The VicRoads spokeswoman said three fines were also issued for carrying a larger load than legally allowed, two fines for having an insecure load and one fine for unlicensed driving.
VicRoads regulatory services director Richard Bell said this week’s inspection team included specialised heavy vehicle mechanics who undertook more rigorous safety testing of vehicles than previously.
“This was our first visit to the south-west with specialised heavy vehicle mechanics as part of a wider approach to heavy vehicle safety,” Mr Bell said. “This is all part of lifting the safety standard on the heavy vehicle industry Australiawide under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.”
Mr Bell said the majority of defects issued were for standard maintenance and roadworthy issues that companies would need to fix in the coming days.
“But it is still a concern that over 50 per cent of inspections resulted in a defect,” Mr Bell said.
VicRoads found a 70 per cent defect rate when it did inspections in April last year in the Portland region.
“The results this week do show a gradual improvement and demonstrates that the message is starting to get through to the heavy vehicle industry,” Mr Bell said.
“The more we have a presence around the state and continue to educate on the importance of safety in the industry, the more this will improve,” he said.
VicRoads south-west director William Tieppo said there were a range of industries in the south-west such as the milk and timber industries that involved heavy vehicles so it was important to continually monitor truck safety.