A TRUCK driver has been caught speeding at more than 60 kilometres over the speed limit on the New England Highway near Moonbi.
Officers from Oxley Local Area Command Traffic and Highway Patrol pulled over the south-bound Mack truck just after 11am on Wednesday.
The truck driver was caught travelling at 123km/h, despite the speed zone being limited to 60km/h for trucks and buses.
Police stopped the truck just north of Moonbi and issued the 45-year-old Maitland driver with an infringement notice for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h.
The man was also fined $3267 and had his licence suspended for six months.
The truck was grounded and will be inspected by Roads and Maritime Services staff.
The incident sparked outrage on The Leader website and the Oxley LAC Facebook page, with residents saying the suspended truck driver showed unbelievable disrespect to other road users.
Lindsay Carter said the “speed limit was set on the Moonbi ranges to make it safer for road users and the residents of Moonbi village.”
Others said the offending truckie “didn’t deserve a licence” and reported similar incidents they had experienced on the notorious winding stretch of road.
One posted: “I’m often overtaken by trucks coming down over the range, and that’s when I’m doing 100km/h.”
Other truck drivers joined in the condemnation, saying that the speeding truckie had given others a bad name.
A Tamworth trucking company representative said it was a “stupid” thing to do.
“It hurts the industry, things like that,” said the truck driver of 27 years, who had driven over the Moonbi Ranges stretch hundreds of times.
“It’s dangerous doing those sorts of speeds on any road, let alone that stretch.”
He said exhaust brakes and speed limiters fitted to modern trucks were “useless” over a certain speed.
“Speed limiters don’t work downhill and exhaust brakes won’t stop you at that speed.”
Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, the acting commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol, said police and RMS staff would continue to work together in 2013, as part of their ongoing effort to get rogue trucks off NSW roads.
“There is no justification for excessive speeding in any vehicle, especially not in a heavy truck,” Superintendent Smith said.
“Too many times we have seen the untold carnage that has stemmed from one speeding truck.
“Rest assured, we will continue to commit plenty of resources to catching and charging any heavy vehicle drivers or operators who break the law and put innocent lives at risk.”