With the 2018 grape and wine vintage about to get underway, a reminder has been issued to all road users to help keep local roads safe this vintage to ensure this year’s crop gets from the farm to revival points as intended.
Griffith City Council's Road Safety and Traffic Officer, Mr Greg Balind said complying with relevant legislation and allowing heavy vehicles plenty of room while sharing the road not only ensures safety on the roads but minimises the potential for fruit and juice spills across the road network.
“In the past, a number of grape spills upon our roads have resulted in other drivers losing control of their vehicles or being unable to safely stop at intersections,” Mr Balind said.
Enforcement will be undertaken across the region throughout the harvest to ensure vehicles comply.
When a grape spill occurs and vehicles are identified, heavy fines can be applied under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, with any additional costs associated with clean-ups also passed onto operators.
Mr Balind also advised there is a responsibility on other road users to give heavy vehicles the space needed on the road to make their respective journeys as safe as possible.
“Recent consultation with heavy vehicle representatives confirmed there has been many occasions when they have been ‘cut off’ or forced to take evasive action to avoid a crash because of drivers of smaller vehicles stopping suddenly or pulling out in front of them.
Due to their size and weight, heavy vehicles need more distance to stop and more room to turn.
“I urge all drivers to show courtesy and understand that the manoeuvrability of heavy vehicles is more extreme than that of a normal vehicle,” Mr Balind said.
“The community can also play a role by reporting any grape spills to Griffith City Council so as action can be taken to clear the road and remove the danger to other road users as soon as possible.”
Residents can report a grape spill by calling Council on (02) 6962 8100 during business hours or (02) 6969 4823 after hours (J&J Security)
Further information on grape spills, including reporting procedures, is available on Council’s website, www.griffith.nsw.gov.au.
Further information on the Chain of Responsibility obligations, including local winery penalties, can be found at www.riverinawinemakers.com.au.