Court outcomes

Examples of court orders made in respect of HVNL offences.

ID# Date Court Section/Act Party in CoR Fine Costs Other orders
#2018002 14/11/18 Port Adelaide Magistrates Court s 229 HVNL x 2
(pre 1/10/18 offence)
Company/owner $21,600 (global penalty) $160 victims of crime levy per count (total $320) plus $150 prosecution fee Conviction recorded

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.

#2018001 12/11/18 Murray Bridge Magistrates Court s 111(1) HVNL
s 114 HVNL
Owner driver $4,230 $160 victims of crime levy plus $150 prosecution fee Conviction recorded
An owner driver of a truck and trailer was carrying firewood in steel cages measuring 1m x 1m x 1m. Two cages of firewood were loaded onto the rear of the truck but two empty cages each weighing 240kg were sitting, unrestrained, on the rear of the trailer. While driving down the South Eastern Freeway the driver applied the hand brake in order to avoid another vehicle in rainy conditions. An empty cage fell from the rear of the trailer. The driver was unaware that the cage had fallen off his vehicle until stopped by police some distance down the freeway. Police had been contacted by a member of the public who saw the cage fall from the vehicle.