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Trucking companies would be liable for the speeding offences of
their drivers under a law flagged by the Roads Minister, Carl
As well, a trial of point-to-point speed cameras may soon be
expanded and trigger automatic fines. The cameras check whether
trucks have travelled in a time impossible to make within the speed
limit. Both plans are aimed at relieving drivers from having to
meet potentially fatal deadlines.
"People who put pressure on those drivers to do the wrong thing
must bear the consequences of their actions," Mr Scully said
yesterday after addressing the Local Government Association
conference in Armidale.
"Those responsible for the loads must be held accountable when
those loads cause grief on the roads."
Mr Scully also poured cold water on the prospect of any
expansion of light rail from its limited inner-city run, adamant
that Sydney did not have a population dense enough to sustain
The proposed changes would mean trucks caught doing more than
115kmh would be deemed to have a defective speedlimiter, and the
truck owner would be liable, and the point-to-point cameras, which
now trigger only warning letters, could soon issue fines
Mr Scully's spokesman later said the trial was "certainly being
run with a view to wider implementation if successful".
A decision is expected on that soon, although he said the trial
was limited to trucks.
Scott Connolly, executive officer for the Transport Workers'
Union, welcomed the moves but said they did not go far enough,
because they failed to target customers who demanded unachievable
The Opposition Leader, John Brogden, warned against any measure
that sought to increase revenue raised through fines.
He said the Government should "do the work and put a camera in
place or a police officer there" to catch speeders.
"I also think it's a bit rich to go so hard on the road
transport industry when he's not spending the money on upgrading
the roads," Mr Brogden said.
While Mr Scully's crackdown on trucks was welcomed by
councillors, he disappointed some over light rail, expressing
strident views against its inclusion in future transport options,
including ever turning new bus ways into light rail routes.
"It's unlikely, and I know light rail zealots would like me to
say it's all going to be built everywhere," he said. "I don't want
to touch on an area that's [Transport Minister] Michael Costa's
domain, but he and I have had a number of discussions about it. He
and I are very supportive of buses being the main vehicle for
transporting a large number of people in a metropolis."
Mr Scully's comments indicate just how difficult it will be for
light rail to win cabinet approval.
"Light rail works when there are large numbers of people, and
now, even in inner-city Sydney ... it's a marginal prospect," he
said. "People have a romantic view about it ... but the bang for
buck that you get with building bus freeways in western Sydney are
profoundly greater than if you build light rail."
Also at the conference, the Local Government Minister, Tony
Kelly, announced he had reached a deal with NSW Farmers over his
controversial proposal to increase the fees farmers pay to use
strips of unformed roads from $50 to $300 a year each.
For their part, the councils decided to investigate the best way
to regulate home renovations to guard against the feared next round
of asbestos victims, look into funding the possible purchase of the
site of the Sari Club in Bali as a memorial to the bombing victims
and passed a charter that tries to increase the number of women in
Councillors voted to elect the Mayor of North Sydney, Genia
McCaffery, as their state president, after the retirement of the
incumbent, Sara Murray.
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