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Report reveals pattern of truck driving offences

Media Release

5 November 2012

The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) today released a report Profiling Heavy Vehicle Speeding which examined the behaviours of speeding truck drivers.

The report was commissioned by the NSW Road Transport Authority and analysed the now defunct “Three Strikes” policy which aimed to reduce the incidence of heavy vehicle speeding.

This policy recorded a strike against the registration of any heavy vehicle caught travelling more than 15km per hour over the speed limit.

The scheme logged every heavy vehicle speeding violation between 2003 and 2010, providing data which the AIC used to study patterns of reoffending by truck drivers.

Author of the report, Dr Katie Willis said: “Heavy vehicles need up to 40 percent longer braking distance than cars. That’s why speed is so often a major factor in heavy vehicle crashes.

“This report will help law enforcement tackle repeat heavy vehicle speeders, by understanding where and when they are likely to speed.”

The report found that the worst speeding offenders were interstate heavy vehicles travelling at night on regional highways.

The report also found that:

  • Heavy vehicles that received a strike under the scheme were travelling an average of 24 km/h over the speed limit.
  • Vehicles that received one strike were detected travelling an average of 23 km/h over the posted limit, compared with 24 km/h for those that received between two and three strikes and 25 km/h for those receiving four or more strikes.
  • 78 percent of strikes for vehicles with four plus strikes occurred at night, compared with only 48 percent of all strikes for vehicles that had received one strike only.
  • Vehicles that received more than four strikes were more likely to have been registered outside of NSW.
  • 65 percent of four plus strike vehicles were detected speeding in 90 km/h and above zones, while less than a third of one strike vehicles were detected speeding in these same zones.
  • Just over 90 percent of the four plus strike group was detected speeding on a highway, whereas around 60 percent of vehicles that had received one strike only were found to have sped on this road type.

The report recommends increased targeting of the small core of repeat speeding offenders by increasing detection measures along NSW’s regional highways at night time, through a combination of greater police presence and camera technologies.

The report also identified the advantage of agencies working with road transport industry groups to identify strategies to directly tack the behaviour of speeding drivers.

In 2011 there were over 500,000 registered heavy vehicles operating in Australia and the total tonne-kilometres travelled by freight vehicles in Australia was 185,911 million.

Media contact: Colin Campbell 0418 159 525/ 02 6260 9244