Hidden passenger detected during truck border blitz

Police have discovered a Victorian woman hiding in the cabin of a truck during a major COVID-19 compliance operation targeting freight vehicles in Queensland.

Officers from Taskforce Sierra Linnet and the Road Policing Command's Heavy Vehicle Enforcement Team joined local police in key state border control sites as part of Operation Sierra Angle.

Under Queensland COVID-19 Border Direction, heavy vehicle operators travelling into Queensland on a Freight Border Declaration Pass must comply with restrictions and departure requirements to minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19.

More than 180 heavy vehicles were intercepted for compliance checks across three sites - Cunningham Highway at Goondiwindi; Leichardt Highway at Goondiwindi and New England Highway at Wyberba.

Officers also conducted heavy vehicle road safety patrols on major highways including intercepting vehicles for roadside breath and drug testing as part of the operation on Wednesday.

Three drivers of heavy vehicles returned a positive drug test.

Police intercepted a prime mover on Dumaresq Crossing Road at Texas around 11.40am where a 51-year-old Victorian woman was located hiding behind the driver's seat.

The woman and the 61-year-old male driver were each issued a $4003 infringement for failing to comply with the Queensland Border Direction and directed to leave the state.

Acting Chief Superintendent Ray Rohweder said the operation indicated a satisfactory overall compliance of the Public Health Directions within the freight transport industry.

"Officers intercepted a significant number of vehicles and while there were some issues identified, the vast majority of truck drivers clearly understood their requirements to social distance and limit their contact with others while in Queensland," Acting Chief Superintendent Ray Rohweder said.

"Unfortunately, some drivers were not complying with laws around drug driving, fatigue management and vehicle maintenance."

The traffic operation, which has been planned for several weeks, followed an investigation in Mackay last week where 16 carnival operators from Victoria were fined $4,003 after travelling around Queensland in breach of their Freight pass directions.

Operation stats:

  • . 184 heavy vehicle intercepts (includes semi trailers, road trains and over-sized vehicles)
  • . 46 heavy vehicle traffic offences (mostly work diary and fatigue management)
  • . 183 RBTs, 140 RDTs
  • . 3 positive drug tests
  • . 56 police officers involved in joint operation