South Eastern Freeway incident serves as important reminder for heavy vehicle operators to meet safety obligations


The collision, which occurred on 24 July 2022 at Urrbrae and involved one heavy vehicle and several other vehicles, resulted in nine people being injured.

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) Executive Director Ray Hassall said the case was a firm reminder for heavy vehicle operators to take their safety responsibilities seriously.

“It’s imperative that operators understand their obligation to keep their drivers, and importantly all road users, safe on the South Eastern Freeway,” Mr Hassall said.

“In this incident, we’ve seen a heavy vehicle lose control, skid and roll into oncoming traffic at the intersection.

“This case strongly reminds us of the reasons for the robust safety and operational standards within the heavy vehicle industry.”

A South Australian Police investigation into the driver, vehicle and its registered operator revealed multiple failures.

The court heard the operator had permitted an unlicenced driver to drive a defective and overmass heavy vehicle without undergoing an induction or any training, and that the operator did not have adequate policies and procedures in place.

NHVR Acting Director of Prosecutions Elim Chan said the lack of policies led to the operator’s failure to take reasonable steps to eliminate or minimise public risk from arising.

“The NHVR is committed to ensuring all parties in the Chain of Responsibility uphold their duties to safeguard public safety,” she said.

“The NHVR challenges industry to not only meet, but exceed the safety standards set forth under the HVNL.

“It’s our collective responsibility to ensure the safety of our roads for both drivers and the public.”

A sentence was handed down on 23 February at the Adelaide Magistrates Court, with the company and operator receiving fines of $84,000 and $7,000 respectively.

/Public Release. View in full here.