Bad brakes abound

A FIVE-DAY NSW Police Force and Roads and Maritime Service operation that ended last week found 265 heavy vehicles with faulty brakes.

Operation Steel 6 involved officers targeting trucks and trailers across metropolitan Sydney to ensure they met safety standards and complied with transport regulations.

Police and the RMS inspected 795 trucks and trailers, issuing 321 defect notices.

Officers issued 12 major grounded defect notices, under which the vehicle is stopped from travel until it is repaired, as well as notices for 48 major defects and 249 minor defects.

Faults included 265 defective brakes, 314 ancillary equipment problems, 182 body and chassis problems, 129 wheels and tyres problems and 85 oil and fuel leaks.

Checks on speed limiters showed that 15 failed standard tests and 104 vehicles had unsafe loads.

Police breath-tested 554 drivers, issued 314 fines and charged 12 people .

Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, of the traffic and highway patrol command, said the results were disappointing.

"What is most concerning is that nearly half of the vehicles inspected had faulty brakes," he said.

"By identifying more trucks that had been tampered with to increase their speed, we have more reasons for these operations to continue.

"This is about mitigating the road safety risk not only to the drivers and companies involved, but also to other road users."

Roads and Maritime Service customer and compliance director Peter Wells said joint operations such as Operation Steel 6 would continue to be a regular feature of heavy vehicle enforcement in NSW.

"Industry needs to understand that these arrangements are well in place and while there is non-compliance, particularly in terms of loads hitting tunnel infrastructure or trucks with poor maintenance, these operations will continue to be a regular feature on our calendar," he said.

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