Operation Triangle: Big Trucks, Big Bucks, Big Responsibility
Posted: 09-Dec-2020 |

Far from being obtuse, Operation Triangle is easy to understand and not a dull topic at all. In fact the message is clear; drivers moving freight in New Zealand’s ‘Golden Triangle’ need to take care out there and last month many of those Linehaul drivers did.

The boundaries of the Police commercial vehicle operation were; Hawke's Bay on SH5 – Iwitahi, between Taupo and Napier, secondly in the Waikato SH3 – 8 Mile Junction near Te Kuiti at the intersection of SH3 and 30 and finally at Turangi 50 km south west of Taupo.

The idea behind the operation was to improve the compliance rate for vehicle standards and the transportation of freight within the freight forwarding industry. Police and commercial vehicle partners were out in force with the aim to reduce crashes and the risk of crashes on our roads.

The operation was conducted from 6am on 23 November until 10pm on 26 November 2020 across the ‘Golden Triangle’. Police were stationed at key locations throughout the three districts and fortunately found some reasonable behaviour and procedures.

A total of 946 vehicle inspections were conducted during the operation. There were 484 Commercial Vehicle Inspection Reports completed, 136 offences detected and only 95 vehicle faults recognised in the 946 vehicles which were inspected. This indicates a 10% defect rate. A number of faults were related to lights on vehicles, followed by brakes and wheels needing attention. These are basic walk around faults that drivers could identify when they do their daily checks.

The main offences detected during the operation were expired Certificates of Fitness, over loading, incorrect logbooks and work hours; then speed and transport licensing. A Lot of the issues were with the single operator vehicles.

Members of New Zealand Police Commercial Vehicle Safety Team (CVST) are roadside specialists delivering prevention, education and enforcement to commercial road users and are able to provide high visibility enforcement activities at priority locations and times based on our gathered data and not only are they managing the big rigs on the road, they are also educating road users on RIDS.

Restraints, Impairments, Distractions and Speed (RIDS) are what we concentrate on enforcing and educating all drivers on. Firstly we educate on what happens when occupants are not being properly restrained in vehicles; also impairment, through alcohol, drugs or fatigue. We focus on distraction – drivers not paying full attention to the driving environment and lastly speed and how we educate people around driving at unsafe speeds.

Overall, we were pleased with the results and the actions of our Linehaul drivers out there. It’s the drivers of single operator vehicles, where we found the majority of faults, so drivers and operators of these vehicles need to take more care and make some changes in their driver behaviour and procedures.

In summary though – our stats show some very good results and it’s a credit to the industry as there were less offences than we predicted. So to those who are sticking to the rules - ‘Keep up the good work’ Senior Sergeant Lex Soepnel, Area Manager, Commercial Vehicle Safety Team

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