Truck drivers generally get five types of fines:
- Logbook and work time infringements
- Speeding infringements
- Driving a vehicle with the wrong licence class
- Insecure or overweight load
- Certificate of fitness or road user charges
Why are truck drivers getting fines?
There’s a mixture of:
- Ignorance of the law
- Time pressures due to traffic
- Cost pressures – the transport industry operates on very thin margins
- Drivers trying their luck, deliberately infringing the law
- Long payment cycles – some suppliers pay transport companies on 90 or 120-day contracts, meaning the cashflow isn’t always there to purchase more RUCs
- Drivers not understanding how to secure a load properly (something that can be easily solved using this online load security course).
What is the dollar value of fines received by truck drivers?
We made an Official Information Act request to Police and they provided us with the following figures:
In 2018, the total number of logbook and work time offences grew to 3170 with a nominal value of $426,425. Many of these offences are $150 infringements for filling out a logbook incorrectly, something which can be avoided by taking our logbook course.
Speeding infringements for heavy vehicle drivers stood at 3986, not including speed camera notices. The nominal fee was $351,320. There’s a course on speed reduction and awareness.
323 people were fined for driving a heavy vehicle without an appropriate licence, e.g. they didn’t have a licence at all, they had the wrong class of licence (e.g. held class 2 but were driving class 4), or didn’t have the right endorsement (e.g. didn’t have a D endorsement but were carrying dangerous goods). Drivers were fined $129,200.
Finally, there were 3046 infringement notices for certificate of fitness (CoF) and unregistered vehicle offences, totalling $709,350, and 1859 drivers got fines totalling $1,480,650 for road user charges offences.
These figures show that the transport industry is giving up over $3,000,000 in fines, not including fines for insecure loads and fines given by speed cameras. Given the tight margins in the transport industry, this is a major waste.
How do you reduce the number of fines truck drivers and transport companies get?
- All drivers should take the logbook course mentioned above so they know exactly how to fill in a logbook and also what their obligations are for rest breaks.
- Use a telematics system that warns you when drivers are exceeding the speed limit, and put limiters in trucks, where appropriate. The Speed Awareness course linked above will help drivers understand why speed limits are important and how to choose an appropriate speed.
- Keep a register of your drivers with proof of their licence class and endorsements; don’t let them drive vehicles that they are not qualified to drive. They can do a D endorsement or D endorsement refresher, or get an F endorsement.
- Keep a schedule for your CoF updates, or have someone manage it for you (e.g. TR Group has MyTR which enables companies that lease vehicles from them to track their maintenance and inspections.
- Use electronic RUCs which automatically update when more kilometres are needed.
- Ensure your drivers are trained in load security techniques and do a pre-trip inspection at the start of their shift so that issues with the truck’s roadworthiness are picked up.