Taskforce Paragon: NHVR to prosecute Chain of Responsibility charges

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Charges have been filed at Paramatta Local Court following a comprehensive 18-month investigation by Victoria Police detectives.

Taskforce Paragon, was established to investigate an incident on the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne, in which a heavy vehicle hit and killed four Victoria Police officers while they were conducting a roadside intercept on 22 April 2020.

The company, Owner/Managing Director, National Operations Manager, and State Manager have each been charged with Category 1 and 2 offences under the Chain of Responsibility provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

These are the most serious offences available under the HVNL.

NHVR Director of Prosecutions, Belinda Hughes, said the charges have been laid after multiple and critical breaches of the HVNL were identified.

“These charges stem from an extensive interstate investigation by Victoria Police, into the actions of the transport operator, its executive and its employees,” Ms. Hughes said.

“This tragedy, is a sobering reminder of the consequences that can occur, when there is a failure to ensure safe transport activities.”

Category 1 offences carry a maximum penalty of $300,000, and/or 5 years imprisonment for an individual and $3,000,000 for a corporation.

Category 2 offences carry a maximum penalty of $150,000 for an individual and $1,500,000 for a corporation.

The matter will next be heard on 28 September 2021 at Paramatta Local Court.


(Information supplied by NHVR – On the Road Issue 124)

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