A sweep of more than 6000 trucks registered in Victoria has found hundreds of faults with brakes, steering and suspension.
As tens of thousands of motorists hit the roads for the summer holidays, the truck blitz, conducted last month in NSW, found vehicles registered in Victoria were twice as likely to have defects than those registered north of the border. Victoria is home to some of the country's largest transport companies.
The NSW Roads and Maritime Services and police joint operation issued 1170 defect notices for a range of issues including 556 brake faults and 248 steering and/or suspension faults.
The swoop has also prompted the NSW government to warn major retailers not to risk drivers' lives by placing unreasonable deadlines on transport companies.
General manager of compliance operations for Roads and Maritime Services Paul Endicott said: ''A number of very large corporations and their directors have been served with improvement notices that demand they improve their compliant behaviour. By serving or notifying directors, it clearly puts them on notice they are personally responsible.''
Several Victorian firms have been prosecuted for tampering with their trucks' limiters, including Logistics 1, which was fined $260,000, and Damorange, forced to pay $100,000.
A number of fatal truck accidents, including one in Sydney in October involving a Victorian trucking company, have exposed unsafe practices in the trucking industry.
Two people died after a Cootes petrol tanker ran out of control down a hill. The incident highlighted the discrepancies in the compliance of trucking companies in different states.