A WODONGA trucking company has been fined after a series of heavy vehicle crashes and continual log book breaches by a driver, including six “critical risk” breaches.
Greenfreight vehicles have been involved in multiple logging truck accidents and a crash last year where a 36-year-old driver was flung from his truck when it rolled at Kergunyah.
Three Greenfreight trucks were involved in crashes in a single day last July.
One of the company’s vehicles was also hit by a four-wheel-drive towing a caravan on the Murray Valley Highway last March.
Police from the Heavy Vehicle Unit attended the Chapple Street company on July 22 last year and spoke to chief executive Stuart Masters and compliance manager Mark Bennett.
Officers inspected driver run sheets and found no drivers had recorded any rest periods during the course of their day.
Driver Chris Felise was found to have work hour breaches between March 25 and April 24 and Colin Jamnikar had “many discrepancies in work diary entries” when compared to GPS records.
Despite the problems, Jamnikar had not been spoken to by a supervisor and no correction actions reports had been made.
Police requested further documents which found 16 offences by Felise over two weeks last June, including two critical risk breaches.
A further 37 offences were detected over a 15-day period in August and a 19-day period in October.
Four were for critical risk breaches including failure to take a seven-hour break in a 24-hour period and working 15.25 hours in a 24-hour period.
A police summary stated Felise had been “continually committing breaches of the Heavy Vehicle National Law fatigue regulations from March through to the end of October 2015”.
The company was issued an improvement notice but pleaded guilty in the Wodonga Magistrates’ Court last week for failing to comply.
Police said the business knew the extent of Felise's offending yet “failed to take reasonable steps to prevent them from occurring”.
He resigned last November.
The company has taken steps to make improvements including introducing real time facial monitoring technology to tell if drivers are fatigued, random checks of drivers against GPS data, introducing tablets to record work diaries and creating a new system to deal with breaches.
Magistrate Ian Watkins heard there was a grey area about what rested with Greenfreight and individual drivers. He ordered the company pay $4000 to a court fund and adjourned the matter for 12 months, and ordered the company be of good behaviour.
The original version of this story said a Greenfreight vehicle hit a four-wheel-drive towing a caravan last March. It has been corrected to say the Greenfreight vehicle was hit by the four-wheel-drive towing the caravan.
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