An Australian trucking company has been slapped with more
than 1,000 charges for forcing its drivers to exceed the maximum number of
hours on the road allowed by law.
The Courier-Mail of Brisbane, Queensland,Australia, reported that the charges filed against Harker Transport represent the largest number of
charges yet to be issued under Australia’s chain-of-responsibility laws.
Harker was first investigated in 2001 after one of its
drivers was charged with “dangerous driving causing death” after having fallen
asleep at the wheel.
The Courier-Mail reported that, in March 2004, Harker
pleaded guilty to 46 chargers of drivers working behind the wheel longer than the 12-hour daily
maximum outlined by the law of the province of Queensland.
Queensland enacted the 12-hour limit in 2002 and also
created laws providing legal protection for drivers who provided information
against trucking companies engaged in illegal activities.
The Courier-Mail reported that the charges against
Harker are part of a province-wide crackdown on companies that force their
drivers to exceed hours limits and that other firms in Queensland could face