Dear Sir,

Your story on the recent regulatory blitz in Port Botany (Joint Operation at Botany Nabs Non-Compliant Trucks – 24 May 2021) highlights the need for continuous safety vigilance. Yet unfortunately, it doesn’t give credit to the container transport industry in Port Botany as is likely deserved.

CTAA understands that Transport for NSW and other agencies conducted 146 vehicle inspections during the safety campaign.

The reporting indicates that there were 28 defect notices issued, with four drivers (out of 146) being issued with infringement notices and only two vehicles being found to be in breach of mass limits. That means that less than 3% of the drivers were issued with any on-the-spot penalties, and only slightly more than 1% of the vehicles were found to be overloaded.

Twenty-eight defect notices were issued, but were they for serious vehicle defects with real safety implications or for minor defects? The regulatory authorities rarely publish those statistics. Also, the story mentions that drug and alcohol tests were conducted, but there was no reported cases of positive results among any drivers tested.

On those numbers, we would have thought that it’s a pretty good compliance outcome, and the authorities should be acknowledging that.

Instead, it’s reported more in the negative … continuing the stigma attaching to heavy vehicle operations in the eyes of many.

In the absence of any positive reinforcement from the authorities, we’ll say it: “Well done to container transport operators in Port Botany for demonstrating overwhelming compliance with heavy vehicle safety laws!”

Kind regards,

Neil Chambers
Container Transport Alliance Australia