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Rogue truckies on notice: police to alert owners, operators of driver offences

25 June 2015

New laws have come into effect today targeting rogue truck drivers.

South Australia will be the first state in Australia to give police the discretion to notify either a heavy vehicle operator or a registered owner if a driver commits a serious traffic offence.

The new laws will provide SA Police the power to notify operators or owners if a driver commits one of the following serious offences:

  • Exceed prescribed concentration of alcohol
  • Driving under the influence
  • Drug driving
  • Excessive speed
  • Reckless and dangerous driving
  • Drive while disqualified
  • Drive unlicensed
  • Drive without due care
  • Refuse or fail to comply with a request to submit to alcotest or drug screening test

The new rules will ensure operators and owners are aware that one of their drivers has committed one of those offences.

This latest initiative is being implemented following a commitment by federal, state and territory transport ministers to fast-track the inclusion of roadworthiness in chain of responsibility laws.

Chain of responsibility laws already apply to speed management, fatigue, vehicle mass, vehicle dimensions and load restraint. Including roadworthiness will ensure owners and operators are held responsible if there is an incident which they could have taken steps to avoid.

The South Australian Road Transport Association Executive Director Steve Shearer said the association lobbied to change the law to allow police to notify operators of driver offences.

“We are grateful the government has listened and we believe the vast majority of the industry will welcome this amendment,” Mr Shearer said.

“The only people who need to be worried about this change are the drivers and operators who are doing the wrong thing.

"The rest of the industry interstate is aware of this important reform in South Australia and we understand some other states are likely to follow the lead that the SA industry and State Government have set with this reform."

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