Truckers pledge to cut down on speed

By Roger Moroney

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Trucking firms on the East Coast have begun fitting GPS and other monitoring equipment to their trucks in a bid to stamp out speeding after a pre-Christmas covert police operation in the region nabbed 100 trucks, mainly loggers, for exceeding the 90km/h speed limit.

Word spread that police were targeting speeding trucks. Just 14 were caught speeding in a second operation a few weeks later. Police called for a meeting with the major transport companies across the region.

Police commercial vehicle investigation unit head Inspector Gwynne Pennell described the meeting as "very productive" and said police were buoyed by the trucking industry's stance in working to put a lid on speeding.

"We have met with the major players involved in this and we're very happy with their commitment to take responsibility for their actions and to put a number of measures in place that will keep both their drivers and the public safe on the roads," Ms Pennell said.

"They have acknowledged that there are issues that need addressing and they will be actively taking steps to reduce their vehicles speeding. We are fully supportive of their efforts and are happy to work in tandem with them."

As well as installing vehicle monitoring devices, the trucking companies had also assured police there would be improvements to driver training programmes and a determination to work closer with transport agencies.

New Zealand Transport Agency state highways manager in Napier, Chuck Dowdell, said it was pleasing to see more companies leading industry behaviour.

"The only way to create safer journeys for everyone is for us all to get on board and do the right thing together," Mr Dowdell said.

Ms Pennell said police would support any initiatives that reduced speed on the roads.

"We pay special attention to heavy motor vehicles, as they are a big user of our roads. The open road speed limit of 90km/h is not a target and there will be occasions when that speed isn't appropriate."

She said police relied on professional truck drivers to "assess the situation and the conditions".

- Hawkes Bay Today

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