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Fatal hit-and-run leads to police raid on company’s fleet

June 9, 2016

Following a fatal hit-and-run at Brookvale on Sydney’s northern beaches some two weeks ago, NSW police have swooped on the company who owned the truck allegedly driven by a 36-year-old driver who will face court next month over the incident.

Police said the driver of the Baiada truck did not stop when he allegedly struck the woman as she was walking across a pedestrian crossing.

Not long after, police and the RMS conducted a joint raid on Baiada’s chicken processing factories across New South Wales. There, the Joint Traffic Taskforce inspected 135 trucks and issued 45 defect notices, 23 of which concerned faulty brakes. Baiada is the parent company of Steggles and Lilydale Free Range Chicken.

25 infringement notices

Another 25 infringement notices were issued and the taskforce found five speed limiters that had tampered with to allow the vehicles to travel at more than 100kmh.

One of the company’s other depots had also been investigated by the taskforce a week prior to this raid.

The police said the taskforce had been empowered to make sure that the Baiada fleet was “entirely safe” and to isolate the vehicles that were “posing a risk to other road users”.

Police also warned that companies involved in fatal crashes could expect a similar response from the taskforce.

Paul Endacott from the RMS said: “It is the duty of heavy vehicle operators and their supply chain partners to ensure that safety is paramount and in terms of roadworthiness and it’s the operator’s duty to ensure these vehicles are fit and proper and safe to operate on our roads.”

In a statement released by Baiada, the company said it took responsibility for ensuring that all trucks carrying its goods were “safe and roadworthy”, adding that it considered the breaches identified by the taskforce during compliance operations to be “unacceptable”.

The company is conducting a full review of transport operations to improve its processes and compliance across its facilities.

Seeking evidence of compliance

“We have written to the over 200 transport companies Baiada engages with seeking evidence that their fleets are safe and meet all legal requirements,” a company spokesperson said in a release.
“Any contractors who do not comply will have their agreement with Baiada terminated.”

Is your company ready for a spot check or even a lengthy audit? Are meeting chain of responsibility (CoR) obligations under the heavy vehicle national law (HVNL)? Are you vehicles safe and meeting all their legal requirements? And what about the responsibilities of your supply chain partners … do you know how to make them accountable?

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