NSW Government increases penalties for overheight vehicles

Trucks with overheight loads are coming under greater scrutiny from the NSW Government, following an increase in the number of incidents bringing Sydney traffic to a standstill.

Overheight vehicles have been put on notice, with the NSW Government increasing the penalties for those who ignore the rules and disrupt traffic.

Following a number of incidents of trucks failing to comply with warning signs – and in some cases, crashing into bridges and tunnels – state government officials increased the on-the-spot fine from $1888 to $4097, with the courts now able to impose a maximum fine of $5500.

Drivers with overheight vehicles can lose their licence for six months, while penalties have also doubled from six demerit points to 12.

Authorities also have the power to suspend truck registrations for up to six months.

According to the NSW Government, 45 overheight trucks were detected in Sydney Harbour Tunnel in 2022 – almost double the amount from 2021.

“The vast majority of truck drivers do the right thing, but for those who refuse to obey multiple warning signs and drive overheight vehicles into our tunnels, the increased penalties should serve as a strong message that this has to stop,” said Kelly Kwan, Executive Director Regulatory Operations with the NSW Government in a statement.

Earlier this week, officers from the NSW Police Force and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator fined a truck that had stopped before the Airport Tunnel – which has a maximum height of 4.4 metres – after allegedly carrying a load that was 5.11 metres high.

Police allege the driver also disobeyed a low clearance sign at a railway overpass in Mascot in an earlier incident.

The driver was given a $4097 fine, issued with 12 demerit points, and will have to face court.

Ben Zachariah

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is considered an expert in the area of classic car investment.

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