9 August 2023

Day of action highlights 'vital' standards needed to keep Canberra's roads safe

| Claire Fenwicke
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compliance officers checking heavy vehicle

Multiple agencies took part in a day of action targeting road safety on the Monaro Highway at Hume. Photo: ACT Policing.

Unrestrained children, impaired drivers, defective and uninsured vehicles – these are just some of the issues discovered on Canberra’s roads during a recent ACT Policing operation.

The agency teamed up with National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) safety and compliance officers and Access Canberra vehicle inspection officers to conduct a targeted operation on the Monaro Highway at Hume.

The roughly seven-hour operation targeted uninsured and/or unregistered vehicles, unroadworthy vehicles, impaired drivers, load safety issues, professional driver logbook issues, and heavy vehicles with excess weight or unsecured loads.

Almost 3300 random breath tests and 31 drug driving tests were conducted throughout the day, with two drivers to be issued summons to attend court for unlicenced driving and drug driving as a result.

90 defect notices were issued, while 52 infringement notices were issued for offences such as unlicenced driving and unregistered or uninsured vehicles.

ACT Road Policing Sergeant Travis Mills said one infringement was for the driver of a minivan coming back from the snow.

“They had two young boys unrestrained or improperly restrained in the back of that minivan,” he said.

“That’s terrible as a parent to think you’re going to travel somewhere and not have your children appropriately restrained.”

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Unsecured loads were also of particular concern, and not only because of the dangers of items flying off vehicles when they’re being driven.

“Unsecured loads can be in the back of a utility, the back of a truck, the back of a trailer. It can be your work tools, it can even be the gravel you’ve just picked up from the local quarry,” Sgt Mills said.

“If they happened to be involved in a crash … that unsecured load could become a projectile, which is a great risk to all other road users.”

This is particularly significant given the operation took place on the same stretch of road where young Blake Corney was killed when a heavy truck ploughed into the back of his family’s vehicle when they had stopped at an intersection on the Monaro Highway.

“We want everyone to get home safely,” Sgt Mills said.

driver pulled over by police officers

Officers were checking vehicle insurance and registration, as well as licences of drivers. Photo: ACT Policing.

Access Canberra licensing and registration executive branch manager Derise Cubin said it was particularly important for vehicle owners to understand the roadworthy requirements and ensure their vehicles continued to meet safety standards.

“Roadworthiness is vital, because if a vehicle doesn’t meet safety and operating standards, it can lead to accidents, damaged property, injury or death,” she said.

ACT Policing and its partners continue to urge drivers to obey the road rules. They are there to keep all road users safe and are not optional.

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Little crims steal cars, drive dangerously, get bail again and again, rinse and repeat. Give us a break about talking road safety

How about they spend a day on the roads, pinging people for tailgating, queuing across intersections, failing to give way to oncoming traffic, using roundabouts to overtake and the myriad other daily road rule breaches that have become normal in the absence of any policing of these rules?

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