Police crackdown on illegal tow operations in Sydney

Friday, June 30, 2006

New South Wales Police, in connection with the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, Tow Truck Authority and Centrelink (the agency responsible for providing income support) conducted random checks on tow trucks on Thursday. The checks were carried out in Bankstown, a suburb in Sydney’s South-West.

According to police, 50 tow trucks were pulled over during the operation, coined “Operation Hook” between 8:30 a.m. AEST and 4 p.m. Of those, 26 were directed to report to a vehicle inspection facility for further investigation.

Police issued 70 infringement notices (fines) during the operation. 11 were for being unlicensed to conduct business as a tow truck driver or business, and 13 for having incorrectly secured loads. 17 vehicles were issued defect notices as part of the operation.

Tow truck operators (business owners) are required to make a payment of AUD$770 per year to the NSW government, while drivers are charged $152 per year for their licence. An additional charge for tow truck number plates of $292 per year also applies.

The maximum penalty for operators not being licensed correctly is $11,000 or 12 months imprisonment, drivers without the correct licence can be fined $5,500 or sentenced to 6 months.

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