The results from operation Kingsize have been released, and the news is good.
The 9 day blitz saw the NHVR, police and state road authorities teaming up to check heavy vehicle compliance at 142 locations. Overall 93.1% of vehicles inspected complied with their permit conditions.
Of those vehicles in breach, the most common failing was an administrative one – failing to carry a required exemption permit or notice in the vehicle.
Not carrying your exemption documents in the truck might seem minor, but the consequences are harsh.
In addition to being a finable offence, failing to carry the required documents can invalidate the exemption. That means you will be subject to the general limits when calculating whether your truck complies with the mass and dimension limits.
So, say for example you’re operating under a notice that allows you to a 77 tonne GVM, as opposed to the usual 42 tonne. You’re operating well within that limit, at 50 tonnes. However, when you’re stopped by RMS they notice you’re not carrying the permit as required. Suddenly, that permit is stripped away and you’re operating under the general mass limits. You’re now only allowed a 42 tonne GVM. You will be prosecuted as though you’re 8 tonne over mass.
Thankfully it’s an easy problem to fix. If operating under a notice or permit, we just need to double check whether it’s one that needs to be carried.
For permits, the answer is easy – the permit must always be carried.
Notices are a bit trickier, because only some have to be carried with you. If you’re not sure whether your notice needs to be carried, the NHVR has a handy list on their website – https://www.nhvr.gov.au/law-policies/notices-and-permit-based-schemes/notices-that-must-be-carried
Finally, if in doubt, the best bet is to carry a copy of the documents with you. Better to be safe than sorry.