New fines spark fears for truck drivers and operators

Public news

Truck drivers remain unclear as to their use of primary brakes on the decent on the South Eastern Freeway.

Following conversations with our Commercial Vehicle Industry Association (SA) Division Members, we are writing to the State Transport Minister Stephan Knoll, advising him that there is in fact a need to accommodate infrequent use of primary braking where it is not the main method of slowing an applicable truck down. We have also relayed these concerns to DPTI CEO, Tony Braxton-Smith.

Feedback has been that truck drivers are scared to use their brakes and a safe and responsible decent of the hill still involves some brief use of the primary brake to slow the vehicle down.

Currently, when descending the South Eastern Freeway, truck and bus drivers must:

Use a gear that is low enough to limit the speed of the vehicle without the use of a primary brake, and

Not drive at a speed in excess of the relevant speed limit.

From the 1st of May 2019, truck or bus drivers whose vehicles are not engaged in a low gear, or exceed the relevant speed limit by 10km/h or more will receive:

A expiation fee of $1,036 plus six demerit points plus:

  • Six-month licence disqualification for a first offence
  • Twelve-month licence disqualification for a second offence
  • Three-year licence disqualification for subsequent offences

The State Transport Minister has previously said that the new penalties to be enforced from the 1st of May, will act as a greater deterrent to those thinking about speeding on the Freeway.

It will ultimately be the responsibility of transport owners and their drivers to comply with the road rules and any measures that seek to lower the needless loss of life on our roads must be adhered to.

In the interim, we will continue to seek clarification as to the interpretation of the new laws.