freezing orders

Record Fines issued for breaches of Chain of Responsibility Laws – the reality of COR is sinking in

26 February 2016

Scott’s Transport has been issued with what appear to be the most severe penalties for breaches of Chain of Responsibility laws in Australia to date.

In a recent decision of the NSW local Court, Magistrate Geoffrey Bradd found Scott’s guilty of 165 speeding-related offences which took place between August 2010 and March 2012. The Magistrate fined the transport operator in excess of $1.25m and ordered Scotts to pay the costs of NSW Road and Maritime Services (RMS) in the amount of $100,000.

The fines were issued to the company, and to Peter Anderson (Manager) and Ray Scott (Director of Scott’s Group of Companies) personally.

In handing down the fines, the Court observed that Scott’s policies and procedures governing speed management were inadequate and, in particular, noted that its Driver Induction and Training Handbook was:

“…. unlikely to be read, understood or acted upon by a driver”

The Court was critical of the company’s failure to act in response to a string of speeding offences which had been brought to its attention.

Magistrate Bradd did acknowledge that the company had since made improvements to its speed compliance measures and that Mr Anderson, who took up the role towards the end of the offending period, had been a “strong advocate” for road safety for many years.

In a statement subsequent to the decision, a spokesman for the RMS warned:

“Any remaining companies, including their customers, packers and consignees involved in high-end speeding and speed limiter tampering should expect to face significant fines, which reflect the degree of community concern on this issue.”

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