A SOUTH Australian truck driver will pay a fine for breaching rest requirements on his way to Horsham.
Mark Eckerman, 48, of Penola appeared in Horsham Magistrates’ Court on Monday where he was fined $2500 for exceeding the drive-work time.
Horsham police prosecutor Senior Constable Michelle Wentworth told the court that Eckerman was driving a B-double truck from NSW to Horsham when police stopped him on May 4.
He had driven 14-and-a-half hours during a 24-hour period. Truck drivers are limited to 12-hour shifts.
“He told police that he knew he was in breach of the hours. His reason was to get to Horsham for a feed and sleep,” Senior Constable Wentworth said.
Eckerman’s lawyer told the court that Eckerman had been delivering hay to NSW for drought-affected farmers.
“He had been loading and unloading hay. He has asthma and he knew there was a shower at a service station in Horsham that he could use to clean himself up,” the lawyer said.
The defence asked that a loss of licence not be considered because it would be “catastrophic” to Eckermann’s livelihood.
Magistrate Ronald Saines fined Eckerman $2500, plus $82.40 in court costs.
“Many people in the community think that the trucking industry has too much red tape, but that is not my view. The rules are there for the community’s safety,” he said.
“There are a lot of head-on collisions caused by fatigue.”
Eckerman was warned that if he “cut corners” and “bends the rules to suit his needs” again, he would be taken out of the industry.
While you’re with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox twice weekly from the Wimmera Mail-Times. To make sure you’re up-to-date with all the news from across the Wimmera, sign up below.