Barramundi truck safety risk for road users

A RUSTED and leaking truck carrying live barramundi posed a serious risk to road users, according to police. 

Officers pulled over the DAF refrigerated vehicle at Holbrook on Wednesday as part of Operation Siritis. 

NSW police traffic and highway patrol commander John Hartley said the vehicle, which was travelling on the Hume Freeway, “could have given way at any time”. 

The fish were in six unrestrained tanks at the back of the truck and were bound for restaurants in Sydney. 

Seawater was also leaking from the vehicle. 

“Officers found the trailer to have significant rust throughout, which could have given way at any time, causing danger not only to the driver of the truck, but also to other road users following nearby,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

“Trucks carrying significant loads that are not securely restrained is a serious issue for the industry.

“Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce officers shouldn’t have to be the ones who are securing loads on trucks that have left major distribution centres throughout Australia.”

The 42-year-old Sydney driver was issued two infringement notices for using an unsafe or unserviceable vehicle, and allowing liquid to fall on the roadway, and the truck received a defect notice. 

Police and Roads and Maritime Services staff inspected 771 trucks and trailers at three sites, including Holbrook, during the three day operation. 

Notices were issued for 18 major defects and four trucks were grounded, and 16 drivers tested positive to drugs.