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Truck driver fined for being on road too long without rest

A MARYBOROUGH truck driver has been given a stern reminder this week about the dangers of driving while fatigued.

Stanley Edward Venema Johnstone appeared before Maryborough Magistrates Court facing charges of operating a vehicle for longer than the maximum hours and failing to rest for the minimum time.

The court heard when Johnstone was pulled over by police near Rockhampton and produced his work diary, it revealed that he had been on the road for 13-and-a-half hours in the last 24 hours period.

Under law, truck drivers cannot be on the road for more than 12 hours in a 24- hour period.

The diary also revealed that Johnstone had only rested for about 5-and-a-half hours during the 24 hour period, which was less than the minimum rest time.

Johnstone said he had difficulties with reading and writing and that made keeping an accurate diary more of a challenge.

"That book I've got boggles my mind," he said.

But he admitted that on this occasion he had done "the wrong thing".

The court heard Johnstone was still employed as a truck driver.

When asked by magistrate John Smith what he would do if his licence was suspended, Johnstone said "I'll just have to find another job".

Mr Smith asked Johnstone if he had a family to support.

Johnstone said he did have a partner, but that she worked to support herself.

Johnstone was fined $1250 for the two offences, but got to keep his licence.

"I won't take your licence," Mr Smith said.

"But if you come back for a similar offence, expect to lose your licence for six months."

Topics:  maryborough magistrate's court




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