Local police say scenes like this are becoming far too common in Toodyay.
Another truck roll-over sets alarm bells ringing
THE SHIRE of Toodyay has been asked to act on traffic safety concerns after a rubbish truck towing an unregistered trailer crashed at high speed on Salt Valley Road last month, spilling tonnes of waste onto the ground.Read more
The trucking company sent a second prime mover to rescue the damaged trailer but it too was found by police to be unregistered and ruled unroadworthy.
The crash occurred when the fully-laden rubbish truck took a bend too fast while heading to a local landfill site.
The heavy truck skidded out of control for more than 100 metres before crashing onto its side in the middle of the road.
The driver was unhurt.
The crash also damaged the road surface and left deep gouges in the bitumen.
A bobcat was called to scoop up tonnes of rubbish from the roadside and a crane was needed to hoist the damaged prime mover and trailer back onto their wheels.
“The truck was travelling within the 110km/h limit but we believe speed was a contributing factor,” Toodyay police chief Sgt Warren Conder said.
“We have asked the Shire of Toodyay to assess local speed limits because of the high number of truck crashes in the area.
“This follows numerous complaints by local community members about trucks using these back roads.
“It’s only a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously injured.
“We didn’t know until the crane arrived to lift the truck whether someone was dead or unconscious underneath.
“And what if another vehicle was coming the other way when the truck driver lost control?”
Police photographs show that the damaged trailer also had two bald tyres.
“State transport inspectors were called to the scene and are aware that cut-price trucking companies are putting lives at risk with unroadworthy vehicles and unsafe driving,” Sgt Conder said.
Shire Deputy President Therese Chitty said the shire had spoken previously to Main Roads WA about safety on the Salt Valley Road-Fernie Road truck route, and a shire site meeting with the agency would be held early this month.
Sheep rustlers active
AN INCREASE in livestock thefts has prompted a police blitz on consignment notes to check carriers for stolen animals.
“We had a recent call from a local farmer to report 20 sheep stolen,” Sgt Conder said.
“Most thefts occur at night using small trucks or vehicles with trailers.
“Thieves often use portable fencing to herd sheep for loading onto a vehicle before leaving the area.
“Stolen animals usually end up in illegal abattoirs where the meat is on-sold.
“Last year we found an illegal abattoir in Nunile equipped with a large fridge, slaughter bench and meat saws.”
Sgt Conder said all livestock carriers were required by law to carry consignment notes to show that their loads were legal.
“We actively stop all types of livestock carriers – from utes to semi-trailers – to check livestock consignment notes, examine ear tags and conduct head counts to ensure no animals are stolen.
“Farmers can also help by ensuring all paddock gates are securely locked and installing security cameras.”
More meth drivers busted
TOODYAY police are concerned that more local motorists are driving under the influence of methamphetamines.
“We recently stopped four motorists in two weeks and charged them with driving under the influence of drugs,” Sgt Conder said.
“We also seized small amounts of drugs and pipes.”
US studies show typical driving behaviours for motorists affected by methamphetamines include drifting between lanes or off roads, erratic driving, weaving, speeding and high-speed crashes.
Drivers display rapid or confused speech, a rapid pulse, agitation, paranoia, dilated pupils and a violent or aggressive attitude.
Sgt Conder said most methamphetamines arrived in Australia by sea or air from China, although some seized drugs were suspected to be home-baked.
“We find it in places such as vehicle light sockets, air vents, gearstick knobs and magnetic key holders concealed under cars – we know where to look,” Sgt Conder said.
“If local community members have any information about illegal drugs, we urge them to contact police before someone – perhaps an innocent child or adult – is killed by drug driving.
Wall to Wall – and back
SGT CONDER will again join a convoy of WA police colleagues on this year’s annual Wall to Wall marathon motorcycle charity ride to raise funds for Police Legacy – only this time he will ride his Yamaha 1100 Classic all the way back as well.
“I’ve managed to raise about $3500 for the 2018 ride, and about $18,000 over the years,” Sgt Conder said.
“However, this year’s ride – which starts in Perth on September 9 and ends the following Saturday with a ceremony at the police national memorial in Canberra – will probably be my last.
“I’ll be joined by Northam police Sgt Andrew Toop from Coondle, who also raised more than $3500, and he will also ride back with me.”
The police charity convoy will pass through Toodyay and pay special tribute to the memory of First Class Const. Den Green, who was killed in a motorcycle crash on Julimar Road while on a training exercise last December.
Sgt Conder said he wanted to especially thank the Toodyay Race Club, Toodyay Op Shop and Toodyay Lions, and all other donors for their generous support.
Donations can be made to policelegacywa.org.au or at the Toodyay police station in Stirling Terrace.