New penalties have come into effect for truck and bus drivers detected driving unsafely on the down-track of the SA’s South Eastern Freeway.
The government recently announced the new offences and penalties which came into effect on May 1 and businesses are also affected by the changes.
As part of the new penalties the body corporate levy that will apply to businesses that fail to nominate the driver responsible for a camera-detection speeding offence on the SE Freeway down-track will increase from just $300 to $25,000.
If the body corporate nominate the responsible driver, it will not incur the body corporate levy.
Truck and bus drivers caught committing low gear and speeding offences now face a 6 month licence disqualification, loss of 6 demerit points and a $1,036 expiation fee (up from $364 and $379 and 3 demerit points for the same offences).
The amendments come after a Coronial Inquest which recommended the changes following 2 serious creashes in 2010 and 2014.
The state government explained the need for the changes,
“Unfortunately, the bottom of the South Eastern Freeway has been the site of some absolute tragic accidents in recent years.
“The Marshall government is implementing these legislative and regulatory changes to crack down on those truck and bus drivers who are driving unsafely and putting the public in harm’s way.
“These tough new penalties will act as an even greater deterrent to those thinking about doing the wrong thing and driving unsafely putting others at risk.
Transport, infrastructure and local government minister Stephan Knoll went on to explain,
“All road users have a significant responsibility to other motorists and the general public to drive responsibly and safely.
“However, truck and bus drivers have an even greater responsibility because clearly the vehicles they operate pose a greater risk to the community when not driven safely and appropriately.
“Truck and bus drivers must adhere to the lower speed limit for their vehicles and use a low gear to limit the speed of their vehicle without the use of a primary brake.
The government explained that these new penalties only apply to the portion of the down-track of the SE Freeway ending at the intersection of Portrush, Cross and Glen Osmond Roads.
Existing speeding penalties will continue to apply to heavy vehicles exceeding the relevant speed limit by less than 10km/h on this stretch of road after May 1.
About The Offences and Penalties
Heavy vehicle drivers descending on this stretch of road must use a low enough gear to limit the speed of the vehicle without the use of a primary brake. Truck and bus drivers must not exceed the relevant speed limit.
The SA government explained that while the maximum speed for buses and truck on the SE Freeway down-track is 60km/h, when inclement weather, reduced visibility or a crash or roadworks are underway, it may be necessary to reduce speeds even further.
It went on to state,
Truck or bus drivers whose vehicles are not engaged in a low gear, as described above, or exceed the relevant speed limit by 10km/h or more will receive an expiation fee of $1,036 plus six demerit points, plus:
- six-month licence disqualification for a first offence
- 12-month licence disqualification for a second offence
- three-year licence disqualification for subsequent offences