RECORD FINE FOR CRASH THAT KILLED FOUR POLICE

Connect Logistics has been issued with a record-breaking recklessness fine of $2.31 million following the tragic deaths of four police officers in April 2020.

The fatal incident resulted from safety breaches that resulted in the driver to fall asleep at the wheel. Subsequently, the vehicle collided with two police cars involved in a traffic stop, leading to the officers' deaths.

The truck driver, who was under the influence of drugs, was eventually jailed for at least 14 years Connect Logistics, its managing director and a supervisor were charged with four counts of manslaughter under Victorian law, though the company was based in NSW.

The Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions later withdrew manslaughter charges against the supervisor. Instead, the parties were prosecuted for breaching HVNL duties by not setting up proper systems to manage truck drivers' fatigue and duty fitness.

The NSW Downing Centre Local Court found the company negligent in addressing driver fatigue and duty fitness, despite prior awareness of issues. Senior management approved falsified timesheets without taking appropriate action.

The fine marks the highest penalty ever imposed under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (HVNL) prosecutions.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator emphasised that company executives must ensure the implementation and active monitoring of safety systems. They underscored the necessity for timely responses to breaches, stressing that executives cannot delegate their responsibilities.

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