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Authorities recently uncovered numerous breaches to heavy vehicle compliance in New South Wales at a recent inspection. Trucks were scrutinized at Operation Hydra, a local effort in which the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and NSW Police inspected facilities for signs of noncompliance.

Driver fatigue was found to be poorly managed at several sites.

Both agencies inspected over 1,000 trailers and trucks in total for breaches. The majority of defects handed out were for minor issues, while 21 were major faults.

Despite this, distribution centers are doing their best to improve their compliancy.  Peter Wells, RMS director of safety and compliance, said there was progress made at several of the site visits.

The RMS plans to give senior executives at the site detailed advice and tips on how to better manage and comply with the inspections and distribution centers. John Hartley, NSW Police assistant commissioner, says Operation Hydra and similar campaigns are vital to changing poor truck driving practices. He adds, “Given that 63 per cent, or 256 million tonnes, of Australia's road freight is passing through NSW, we need to do everything we can to ensure trucks are being driven lawfully”.

"It is clear that some distribution centre executives are taking this seriously. We are occasionally now finding sites that are well-managed for chain of responsibility and road transport," said RMS director of safety and compliance Peter Wells. "However, it is still clear others are not being well-managed for safe and compliant operations of truck transport. Of serious concern we found 10 trucks with non-compliant speed limiters to enable them to illegally speed more than 100 km/h, as well as 21 major defects.”