Operation brings Illawarra tow truck drivers under scrutiny

Lake Illawarra police have issued a string of defect notices during a surprise blitz on area tow truck drivers. 

The tickets included a serious defect for one towie allegedly caught with a non-compliant speed limiter. 

Authorities will allege the limiter had been altered to allow the truck to accelerate beyond the legislated 100km/h limit to 109.5km/h. 

The five-hour blitz – Operation Lift – saw 18 tow truck and two heavy vehicle drivers pulled over for roadside drug and alcohol tests, then directed to Unandera for surprise vehicle inspections.

Police also identified 18 breaches, including a driver whose tow truck license had expired. 

The checks led to an audit at an area business, where another four record-keeping breaches were identified. 

Senior Sergeant Andrew Palmowski said the operation was a pro-active effort by area police. 

“There hasn’t been a tow truck operation in the Illawarra for a number of years,” he said. 

“It puts everyone on notice – it doesn’t matter what you drive, we’ve now done it once and we’ll do it again.

“We all share the roads and obviously we need to be mindful that that heavy vehicles take longer to stop and can cause more carnage.” 

The blitz was a joint effort by Roads and Maritime Services, NSW Police and NSW Fair Trading. 

A RMS spokesman said the operation was intended to check tow truck drivers are correctly licensed and vehicles compliant with the Tow Truck Industry Act and relevant safety regulations.