Off the road: overheight truck rego suspended for tunnel offence
An overheight truck that closed 2 lanes of the Warringah Freeway and stopped traffic for almost 20 minutes at the entrance to the Sydney Harbour Tunnel will have its registration suspended and be off the road for 6 months in the first case of the NSW Government’s zero tolerance approach to trucking operators who breach height clearance laws.
Hengl Transport of Tomago in the Hunter will be without 1 of its truck fleet until 2024 after Transport for NSW advised the company its articulated flatbed vehicle involved in an incident on Friday 2 June, southbound at the Harbour Tunnel will have its registration suspended, effective Tuesday 1 August 2023.
The truck that had been carrying paper bales was measured at overall height of 4.42m – against an allowable height of 4.3m in the Harbour Tunnel.
Under a deal with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator this month, all incidents of overheight breaches are now being referred straight to Transport for sanction, with 6 cases referred as of Tuesday 27 June.
Three new overheight incidents have been recorded since Saturday: 2 at the Sydney Harbour Tunnel (both 26 June) and 1 at the Lane Cove Tunnel (24 June). The 2 incidents at the Harbour Tunnel have been referred to Transport for NSW, while the incident on the Lane Cove Tunnel did not meet the criteria.
The NSW Government has established a taskforce responsible for reducing the number of overheight truck incidents in Sydney’s road tunnel network that is meeting fortnightly to lead measures to stop city-choking episodes.
Minister for Roads John Graham said:
“The NSW Government supports the trucking industry and we pay tribute to the vast majority of drivers and operators who get freight around the state and Australia safely, know their load height, know the clearance limits and properly plan their routes.
“But overheight incidents at tunnel portals in Sydney are a persistent problem that we must address head-on and I am pleased that the new system of direct referrals to Transport for NSW to pursue operators and suspend registrations for established breaches has already begun to work.
“This sends a message to those who own and operate trucks that there are severe consequences for overheight breaches. We will hopefully begin to see fewer cases in which Sydney traffic is brought to its knees.
“The public has lost patience with these incidents and we will continue to chase offending owners, improve advance warning lights and infrastructure and work with police, the NHVR, the freight industry and the Transport Workers’ Union to address this problem.”