In mid-January, a transport truck carrying ethanol crashed and burst into flames near Newcastle, Australia. The fire quickly spread to the nearby bushland, taking out nearly 15 hectares and raging for more than four hours after the crash. The driver, tragically, perished in the accident, which involved three trucks and one car.
According to officials, a truck driving southbound hit the back of a truck parked on the side of the road. A third truck then crashed into the two, which were then struck by a car. The other three drivers survived but were taken to the hospital for blood and urine tests.
While investigating the incident, inspectors and police officers looked into the company that employed the deceased driver. What they found was upsetting, but hardly surprising. As it turns out, the Sydney-based company had at least one trailer with an expired registration, and one of its drivers was without driving privileges due to traffic violations.
Two other trucks owned by the company had defective engines, and another had a major defect with one of its seatbelt. Investigators also uncovered a range of other mechanical and compliance issues, including broken brakes, busted headlights, and faulty suspension systems. At the time of writing, it’s not clear if any of the trucks involved in the crash were also faulty – but it does seem likely.
“The operation is another warning to operators to be aware that they will be targeted and they will be removed from our roads if they are found to be unsafe,” explained Roads and Maritime Services Director of Compliance Roger Weeks, speaking to The Australia Herald. “The recent tragic crashes involving trucks are unacceptable and we will continue to work closely with NSW Police to ensure drivers and companies improve their safety and compliance.”
That’s heartening to hear, certainly. But I question whether that will be enough on its own. Even though regulatory agencies are constantly working to take down trucking firms that don’t play by the rules, they always seem to do so after an accident has occurred. What we need is to empower these organizations to investigate and address the issues with these firms on their own – before accidents happen.
We’ve made great strides in that regard – but we’ve still got ways to go. In the meantime, Bormaster Law will step up to help fill the gap. We have a long history of taking corrupt trucking agencies to task for their crimes and ensuring they’re held responsible for the injuries and destruction caused by their carelessness.
Because in our eyes, ignorance is no excuse for causing pain. If you or a loved one has been critically injured in a trucking accident, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll help you take back your life.