Freight operator fined $290k

A FREIGHT company has been fined more than $290,000 for overloading offences after being charged by the RTA and convicted under Chain Of Responsibility laws.

An RTA investigation found the heavy vehicle operator breached mass requirements 82 times and dimension requirements twice between June 30, 2008, and February 17, 2011.

The operator, with a fleet of about 160 heavy vehicles which moves freight in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales, was fined in the Downing Centre Local Court on April 1, 2011, after pleading guilty to all 84 offences.

The court found the operator was a persistent offender and issued the company with a supervisory intervention order to help them improve compliance when loading heavy vehicles.

Expert advice shows a heavy vehicle with 10 per cent more weight on its axle groups can cause 50 per cent more damage to road infrastructure.

COR laws impose obligations on all parties in the road transport and logistics supply chain to prevent breaches.

This means anybody who plays a role in the transport of goods, not just the driver, can be held responsible for breaches of road law and may be criminally liable.

Overloaded vehicles are a risk to the safety of the community, can increase traffic congestion, and accelerate road wear.

Since 2005 the RTA has laid 2104 charges against 72 individuals in the road transport and logistics industry. This includes 685 charges against consignees, 512 charges against consignors, 188 charges against directors and 690 charges against operators.

The RTA carries out investigations throughout the road freight and logistics industries to identify organisations with a history of breaking road laws.

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