Truckie fined $1000 over false work-diary entries

AN IPSWICH truck driver appeared before court this week after highway heavy-vehicle cameras caught him driving when his work diary entries recorded him off the road on a break.

Dallas Steinhardt, from Bundamba admitted to "sneaking" in extra time on the road when he was legally required to be resting.

Steinhardt, aged in his 60s, pleaded guilty in Ipswich Magistrates Court to making false entries on January 21; and operating under standard hours being a solo driver who rested less than required minimum rest time on January 15.

Prosecutor Sergeant Tracy Long said the professional heavy-vehicle driver was intercepted at 9pm driving heavy machinery on January 21. Multiple false entries were detected in his work diary.

Steinhardt logged himself as being stopped at Dinmore from 7am for 24 hours on January 21.

Sgt Long said transport cameras showed him driving at Oakey at 8.51am and then Goodna and the Ipswich Motorway.

"He should have been resting at those times," she said. "He said that he moved it forward to show him as resting when he was actually working."

One entry indicated Steinhardt was stopped, yet roadside cameras captured him driving at Mt Isa and later Cloncurry.

"He said he sneaked away early," Sgt Long said.

"He said he gets paid to work 12-hour days and changes the time to fit in with work requirements."

Steinhardt had broke the Heavy Vehicles National Law Act by driving (working) 13 days straight before taking a 24-hour break.

Penalties for the offences were a maximum fine of $10,000 and a maximum $4000, the court heard.

"It's my first log book fine in 20-odd years of driving," Steinhardt said.

Mr Shepherd said "the potential dangers presented when people drive heavy vehicles in a fatigued state" were grave.

Steinhardt's last traffic offence conviction was in 2001.

Mr Shepherd said this was quite unusual for someone in his profession, and "no mean feat".

Steinhardt was fined $1000.

He was given the benefit of his good driving record with no conviction recorded.



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