Court outcomes

Examples of court orders made in respect of HVNL offences.

 

South Australia

14 November 2018

Port Adelaide Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Company/owner

An Adelaide based trucking company was prosecuted for two offences against s 229 of the HVNL (pre 1 October 2018 offending).

An investigation into the company was commenced after one of its drivers was involved in a collision. The trucks operated by the company were fitted with GPS and GPS data was readily available to the company. The company failed to access the GPS data or cross-check GPS records with drivers’ work diaries. Had the company accessed the GPS data it would have been alerted to indications that two drivers were committing extreme breaches of the fatigue regulations of the HVNL. Section 229 does not require proof that a driver was in fact driving fatigued – it is simply a failure to take reasonable steps to ensure that a person does not drive on the road while impaired by fatigue. Thus in failing to cross-check GPS with work diaries for these two drivers – which would have been a reasonable step – the company committed two offences against s 229 of the HVNL.

As the defendant was a company, the operation of s 596 meant that the maximum penalty for each of the two offences was $55,000 dollars (5 times the $11,000 maximum penalty for an s 229 offence). The Magistrate reduced the proposed a fine of $36,000 by 40% in recognition of the pleas of guilty on the first occasion the matter was in Court. This resulted in a global fine of $21,600 plus victims of crime levies and prosecutors fees.

Section/Act: 

  • s 229 HVNL x 2
    (pre 1/10/18 offence)

Fine: 

  • $21,600.00 (global penalty) (+ court costs)

Other Orders: Conviction recorded

4 September 2018

Ceduna Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver

A solo heavy vehicle driver was charged with one count of driving while fatigued.  He had been observed driving on the wrong side of the road at various times over about a 10 minute period. His licence was disqualified as he posed a significant public risk.

Section/Act: 

  • s228(1) HVNL

Fine: 

  • $2500 (+ court costs)

Other Orders: Licence disqualified for 3 months.

3 December 2018

Ceduna Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver

A solo driver operating under standard hours breached work and rest hours requirements by driving for 13 hours in a 24 hour period (substantial risk) and for resting only for 4.50 hours in a 24 hour period. (critical risk) When being previously convicted of similar offences he had been warned that further offending would result in licence disqualification. 

Section/Act: 

  • 250(1)(a) HVNL
  • 250(1)(b) HVNL

Fine: 

  • $1000 (+ court costs)

Other Orders: Licence disqualified for 9 months.

30 January 2019

Adelaide Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver

A NSW licensed driver made false entries in his work diary, stating that he had been resting at a time when in fact he had been driving, loading or refuelling a vehicle. The driver had one prior similar offence from 2017 when he was fined $900.

Section/Act: 

  • 325(1) HVNL (x 3)

Fine:

  • $3,000.00 (per count)
  • TOTAL: $9,000.00 (+ Court costs)

Other Orders: Conviction recorded

30 January 2019

Adelaide Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Operator

The company arranged for a drop deck trailer to be attached to its prime mover and gave instructions about how to load the trailer.  There were no weighing devices on the trailer and the load exceeded the legal limit – of 20 tonnes – by almost 6 tonnes.  The company had no prior relevant convictions.

Section/Act: 

  • s96(1) HVNL

Fine: 

  • $6000 (+ court costs)

Other Orders: Conviction recorded

5 March 2019

Port Adelaide Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver

The Defendant was an employee driver with four previous convictions for critical breaches of work and rest hours. He committed Counts 1 to 3 in a two month period and committed Count 4 shortly afterwards. 

Section/Act: 

  • C1 - S250(1))(a) HVNL (critical)
  • C2 - s325(1) HVNL
  • C3 - s250(1)(b) HVNL (critical)
  • C4 - s250(1)(a) HVNL (severe)

Fine: 

  • C1 - $3,000.00
  • C2 - $1,800.00
  • C3 - $3,000.00
  • C4 - $1,800.00
  • TOTAL: $9,600.00 (+ court costs)

Other Orders: Conviction recorded for all counts

5 March 2019

Port Adelaide Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver

The solo driver of a prime mover operating under BFM hours rested for less than the minimum 7 hours of continuous rest time in a 24 hr period.

Section/Act: 

  • s254(1)(b) HVNL  (x 2)

Fine: 

  • $2,400.00 (per count)
  • TOTAL:$4,800.00 (+ court costs)

Other Orders: Convictions recorded

5 March 2019

Port Adelaide Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver

The solo driver of a prime mover rested for less than the minimum 7 hours of continuous rest time in a 24 hr period and worked for more than the maximum period of 12 hours stated in the standard hours in a 24 hour period.

 

Section/Act: 

  • C1 - s250(1)(b) HVNL
  • C2 - s250(1)(a) HVNL
  • C3 - s250(1)(b) HVNL

Fine: 

  • $1,800.00 (per count)
  • TOTAL: $5,400.00)

Other Orders: Convictions recorded for all counts

5 March 2019

Adelaide Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver

In a 7 day period, a solo driver had not taken the required 24 hr continuous rest break, but had only taken 21 hrs and 45 minutes. In a 24 hr period, the driver had exceeded the permitted maximum of 12 hours, working for 13 hours and 45 minutes. The driver had previously been convicted of a loading offence but not of any fatigue offences.

Section/Act: 

  • s250(1)(a) HVNL (x 2)

Fine: 

  • $8000 (Global penalty)

Other Orders: Convictions recorded

27th May 2019

Port Pirie Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Company
An SA based company was transporting a tractor excavator combination on the back of a low loader trailer in a manner that did not comply with the Load Restraint Guide. The load was observed shifting and moving forward on the deck of the low loader as the vehicle braked. The company was charged with a permit offence in accordance with s 111 HVNL and it was a severe risk breach in accordance with s 114. The company pleaded guilty at the first possible opportunity and was given a 40% discount for their early guilty plea. The company was fined $10,000.00 plus fees and levy.

Section/Act:

  • s111 (HVNL) (Severe)

Fine:

  • $10,000.00 ( + court costs)

Other Orders: Conviction recorded

 

Victoria

19th September 2019

Horsham Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Company

A company on 2 occasions was observed travelling as a class 1 heavy vehicle along the highway, routine inspection of the combinations indicated that the vehicles, after checking with their mass and dimension exemption permit, were operating outside the conditions of their mass and dimension exemption permit. It was also found that the class 1 heavy vehicles were over length (on both occasions) and over height.

Section/Act:

  • C1 - C2 - s102(1)(b) HVNL (Length)
  • C3- s102(1)(b) HVNL (Height)
  • C4 -C5 - s129(1) HVNL

Fine:

  • $36,000.00 (global penalty)

19th September 2019

Horsham Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver
Driver intercepted in a heavy vehicle with observation that the vehicle may be overloaded and also observed no load restraint covering the load of soil, which was loaded over the waterline. Heavy vehicle was weighed on portable weighing devices and found to be loaded at 121% of it mass, thus a severe risk mass breach.

Section/Act:

  • C1 - s96(1) HVNL
  • C2 - s111(1) Heavy Vehicle National Law

Fine:

  • $13,000.00 (global penalty)

 

Queensland

13 May 2019

Southport Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Director

The steer axle of a heavy vehicle was loaded at 120% of the applicable mass limit and the drive axle was loaded at 118% of the limit.  The director of the company was not aware of the mass limits that applied to the vehicle. The loading machinery used by the company had no weighing equipment attached. There was no formal training or induction process for new drivers.  The company was charged and convicted under (repealed) extended liability provisions.

Section/Act:

  • C1 – C2 - s96(1) HVNL
  • C3 – C4 - s183 HVNL

(Pre 01/10/2018 offences)

Fine:

  • $3,000.00 (global penalty)(+ court costs)

26 April 2019

Townsville Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver

A prime mover was towing a trailer carrying a Hitachi wheel loader, empty pallets and tyres.  A tyre fell from the trailer and crossed the road in front of an oncoming passenger bus. The prime mover had a tyre missing from the front axle and a split tyre on another axle.  The vehicle’s windscreen was cracked, the rocker box and leaf springs needed maintenance, hydraulic fluid was leaking and there were worn brakes on the trailer. The mass on the tri-axle group was 26.7t which was 133% of the permitted mass limit (a severe risk breach).  The vehicle did not have an “Oversize” sign.  Inspection of the driver’s work diary revealed several occasions where the driver had exceeded maximum work hours or did not rest for the required minimum rest period as well as numerous instances where information was required to be recorded but had been omitted.

Section/Act:

  • C1 - s111(1) HVNL
  • C2 - s89(1) HVNL
  • C3 - s96(1) HVNL
  • C4 - s129(3) HVNL
  • C5 – C9 s250(1)(a) HVNL
  • C10 – C12 s250(1)(b) HVNL
  • C13 - s297(2) HVNL
  • C14 - s293(1)(b) HVNL

Fine:

  • C1 - $5,000.00
  • C2 - $3,500.00
  • C3 - $3,500.00
  • C4 - $648.00
  • C5 -14 - $7,000.00
  • TOTAL: $19,648. 00 (+ court costs)

15 April 2019

Cleveland Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Driver
When inspected, the driver’s work diary showed that the driver had worked for 17½ hrs in a 24 hr period which is 5½ hrs more than the maximum (a critical risk breach).  In the same period, the driver had only had 4¼hrs of continuous stationary rest, not the required period of 7 hrs (a critical risk breach).

Section/Act:

  • C1 - s250(1)(a) HVNL
  • C2 - s250(1)(b) HVNL

Fine:

  • $5,000.00 (global penalty) (+ court costs)

13 December 2018

Toowoomba Magistrates Court

Party in CoR: Company
A heavy vehicle combination transporting a scraper was the subject of a permit however the mass limit of the permit was breached and the vehicle was assessed at general mass limits. The mass on the quad axle group (dual tyres) of the trailer was 205% of the maximum mass limit (a severe risk breach). The mass on the tandem axle group of the trailer (dual tyres) was 114% of the maximum permitted mass (a substantial risk breach).

Section/Act:

  • C1 - s96(1) HVNL
  • C2 - s183 HVNL

(Pre 01/10/2018 offence)  October 18)

Fine:

  • $10,000.00 (global penalty) (+ court costs)