Fleets targeted in safety crackdown

The Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce alongside NSW Police and Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) are cracking down on fleet safety following a spate of recent bus crashes.

In the last few weeks, the passenger transport industry and buses have been involved in two serious crashes, including one at Mount Druitt and one at Glenmore Park.

The initiative - dubbed Operation Hanly 2 - this week inspected a bus fleet at Smeaton Grange, looking into driver fatigue, road worthiness and overall vehicle standards.

Close to 90 buses were inspected during the operation, with 32 found to be defective and six considered seriously unsafe. As a result of the findings, the company was issued defect notices for a range of issues - including suspension, tyres, brakes and warning lights.

Stuart Smith, Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander and Acting Assistant Commissioner, explained it was important that all fleets adhere to regular safety checks.

"Passengers getting on a bus and paying for the privilege expect the vehicle they are getting into is road worthy and safe," he said.

"Given these large vehicles also transport our children to and from school each day, highlights why they must be mechanically sound and able to operate safely all of the time."

In one example, a fleet vehicle had no functioning rear brake lights and was immediately taken off the road.

Paul Endycott, Roads and Maritime Services General Manager Compliance Operations, said authorities will continue to crackdown on fleets under simple lessons are learnt.

"The safety of all road users is of highest priority and we will continue to monitor operators throughout the state to ensure we can promote compliance and zero tolerance," he concluded.

With fleet safety under the microscope, it would be an excellent time for managers to consider fleet management software. All vehicle history is recorded and checks will be completed in line with manufacturer guidelines.

Drivers and managers will also receive reminders and updates to ensure fleets are checked on a regular basis and are safe to operate.