Southern police are clamping down on truckies in the hope
of curbing crash numbers.
As part of a nationwide operation, Southern police will focus
on heavy motor vehicle users next month, acting Southern
district road policing manager Senior Sergeant Steve Larking
Truck drivers would be breath-tested, ticketed for travelling
more than 5kmh over the speed limit and logbook checks and
load compliance would be carried out, he said.
''Unfortunately, in this industry, there have been some real
tragedies occur and sometimes it's been because truck drivers
haven't been exhibiting safe driving behaviours,'' Snr Sgt
There were 174 crashes on average annually involving trucks
in the Southern district from 2011-13.
Of the 159 crashes involving trucks in the district last
year, three were fatal and 13 caused serious injury, he said.
Although the crashes were not necessarily caused by truck
drivers, ''evidence tells us that the main causes of heavy
vehicle crashes are poor observation, poor handling, speed,
fatigue due to excessive working hours and driver
distraction'', he said.
Road policing staff would work with specialist commercial
vehicle investigation unit staff as part of the operation.
''Many of our local truck drivers are safe drivers who
operate professionally within the law and ... many of our
trucking companies are very mindful of the health and safety
standards within which they need to operate,'' Snr Sgt
''However, unfortunately, we also know that there are a small
number of truck drivers who don't obey the road rules and
this creates a safety risk for all road users.''
An Otago-based truck driver died after his truck rolled on a
straight section of State Highway 1 near Kaikoura in 2011.
Coronial findings released earlier this year indicated that
he was more than likely to have been affected by fatigue,
after working at least 17 hours without appropriate breaks.
He was not wearing a seat belt and had a high blood-alcohol
level, which would have impacted on his reaction times and
judgement, Snr Sgt Larking said.
''If, through this road safety operation, we can have an
influence on the behaviour of some of our truckies and
encourage them to pay greater attention to their driving
behaviour, then the roads will be safer for all of us to