Hundreds of truck drivers have been caught flouting bans during school drop-off and pick-up times in Yarraville, but angry parents argue they are just the tip of the iceberg.
The truck curfew was introduced on Somerville Road with great fanfare in 2014, yet parents say lack of enforcement means trucks have continued to rumble along the route in flagrant abuse of the restrictions.
Kingsville Primary School council president Glen Yates said a patrol by VicRoads transport safety services officers (TSSOs) last Friday was the first time he had seen a patrol this year, despite months of begging VicRoads to step up enforcement.
“A lot of parents were really happy to see the TSSOs there – they literally were like rock stars because they’ve not been there for so long,” he said. “But that needs to keep happening – one show of force is not enough.”
Mr Yates said the greatest concern for parents was safety as children made their way to and from the three primary schools along or near Somerville Road.
“Children of varying ages are using scooters and bikes and walking, and they are being encouraged to do so,” he said.
“But with the flow of vehicle traffic around that area, it’s only a matter of time before something could happen.”
Star Weekly last week witnessed a number of trucks flouting the bans during the morning school-crossing period as they passed flashing “no truck” signs.
The on-the-spot fine for disobeying a “no trucks” sign is $152.
Mr Yates has taken hundreds of photos of trucks breaching the bans, forwarding them to VicRoads. But he’s unsure whether VicRoads follows them up and argues it shouldn’t be up to parents to police the zones.
“It’s not my job and it’s not the responsibility of other parents, either,” he said.
“The amount of times I’ve been abused by truck drivers while taking photos, I’ve lost count.”
Maribyrnong Council chief executive Stephen Wall said non-compliance of curfews is a matter for VicRoads.
VicRoads heavy vehicle services director Eric Henderson said transport safety services officers had spent 458 hours patrolling curfews since 2016, issuing 566 penalty notices.
“Truck curfews are monitored and enforced regularly by VicRoads Transport Safety Services patrols,” he said.
“VicRoads works closely with the freight industry and local businesses to educate and inform them of the curfews and alternative routes.”