In a NSW first, the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has cancelled the licence of a Sydney truck driver after multiple breaches of the dangerous goods transport rules potentially putting other road users in danger.
In October 2019, the driver was caught driving a tanker transporting approximately 32,000 litres of petrol through Sydney’s Airport and M5 East tunnels, which is banned under legislation.
EPA Executive Director Regulatory Policy Nancy Chang said it was an offence to transport a placard load of dangerous goods, such as petrol, through Sydney’s tunnels.
“The EPA not only protects the natural environment, it plays a key role in keeping our community safe from irresponsible operators,” Ms Chang said.
The driver was also cited for not displaying the necessary Class 3 Flammable Liquid placards on his truck. In Australia, any tank vehicle carrying bulk dangerous goods, or residues of dangerous goods, is required by law to display placards.
“This driver not only broke the law, he put other tunnel users’ safety at risk because if there was an incident any first responder or emergency worker would have been unaware of the danger of the goods he was carrying,” Ms Chang said.
While drivers are permitted to transport diesel through Sydney’s tunnels, dangerous goods vehicles are prohibited from travelling in Sydney’s tunnels. Operators must make every reasonable effort to prevent their drivers from unlawfully using prohibited routes.
The licence cancellation also prevents the driver from applying for a dangerous goods driver licence anywhere in Australia for five years.
“The EPA regulates the transport of dangerous goods in NSW for good reason,” Ms Chang said.
“This should act as a warning to people neglecting their responsibilities on our roads – break the rules and the EPA will take appropriate regulatory action.”