On the eve of a new package of measures designed to reduce the road toll, the Berejiklian Government’s own figures reveal it has cut the number of truck safety intercepts.
An intercept is defined by Roads and Maritime Services as "the stopping of a vehicle to conduct a compliance inspection check".
The number of On Road Enforcement truck intercepts undertaken by RMS has plummeted from 68,157 in 2013/14 to 40,149 in 2016/17 – a drop of more than 40 per cent.
In the same period the number of truck intercepts performed at Heavy Vehicle Safety Stations has dropped by almost 17,000 - from 136,194 in 2013/14 to 119,236 in 2016/17.
RMS uses the Heavy Vehicle Safety Stations to intercept and inspect heavy vehicles which may be operating illegally or in an unsafe manner on NSW roads and which pose significant risk to road users, the road infrastructure and the environment.
In 2017 there were 81 fatalities from heavy vehicle crashes – an increase of 25 on the previous year.
The NSW Public Service Association recently revealed that there are 34 fewer Heavy Vehicle Safety Inspectors now than there were this time last year, a 15 per cent reduction of the total workforce.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Roads Minister Jodi McKay
“It’s a tragedy to see the road toll in NSW rise after it trended down for so many years – the Premier has no time to waste on taking some meaningful action to stop the road toll from continuing to climb.
“A good first step would be for the Berejiklian Government to reverse its cuts to the truck intercepts programs and get unsafe heavy vehicles off the roads.
“The spike in NSW’s road toll should not come as any surprise to Roads Minister Melinda Pavey: her government cut the number of heavy vehicle safety inspectors so it only follows there would be fewer inspections."