TRANSPORT operators have been urged to ensure their fleets are compliant with Victorian and national heavy vehicle roadworthy requirements after the state government announced a campaign of “random and targeted checks”.

So far this year, Transport Safety Service officers have carried out more than 20 operations across Victoria, targeting known heavy vehicle crash spots to cut the occurrence of fatalities and serious injuries.

TSS has reported 34 fatalities involving heavy vehicles this year – compared to 27 fatalities in 2018.

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“The government has rightly acknowledged that many of the crashes involving heavy vehicles are caused by other motorists,” said Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson.

“We are pleased that, as part of this current safety blitz, passenger vehicle drivers are being urged to allow enough space when passing and merging in front of trucks.”

The “safety blitz” is to focus on vehicle roadworthiness, with tyre, windscreen, oil leaks, seatbelts, brakes, suspension and coupling defects continuing to be common breaches for truck operators.

“Notwithstanding the safety risks to heavy vehicle drivers and other motorists, there are significant penalties for roadworthiness breaches, so we encourage operators to take time to ensure their fleets are compliant, and that drivers observe curfew requirements in the inner west and elsewhere,” Mr Anderson said.

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