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Truck drivers will be treated more fairly under changes to the penalties framework in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

Firm but fairer penalties under proposed changes to the framework

19 June 2014

Truck drivers will be treated more fairly under changes to the penalties framework in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

NTC CEO Paul Retter said the proposed changes will improve consistency across penalties and mean more offences can be dealt with fines rather than putting needless strain on our courts.

“In an ideal world we wouldn’t need penalties to keep our roads safe,” Mr Retter said.

“But in practice we need fair penalties that appropriately punish those responsible for any systematic breaches of the road rules.

“Thanks to these proposed changes police and authorised officers will be able to issue infringement notices for four additional offences that in the past had been dealt with in courts.

“We have also proposed changes to ensure similar offences attract similar penalties across the HVNL, making them more consistent and fair.

“We know that operators and drivers of most heavy vehicles are increasingly taking their own safety and the safety of other road users seriously because we have seen this reflected in steadily improving heavy vehicle fatality and injury statistics.

“That said, someone is killed in crashes involving heavy trucks or buses every two days in Australia.

“Consistent penalties for similar offences help make sure everyone in the industry understands what is unacceptable and dangerous and, importantly, the consequences of breaking the rules.”

The review asked industry groups and government bodies at the national, state and territory level to provide insights on how the penalties framework could be improved. The recommendations in the report are based on the proposals that received support.

“For the most part, the changes recommended are minor in nature, which is a good sign that the current penalties framework is on the right track,” Mr Retter said.

The HVNL penalties framework review proposes nine changes to improve consistency with penalties for eight offences to increase and penalties for one offence to decrease. The remaining penalties are not affected at this time, but the report recommends minor reviews of parts of the framework to make sure penalties continue to be set in a fair and reasonable manner.

For a complete list of the changes to the penalty framework click here.

These changes were endorsed by the recent meeting of transport ministers held last month. Draft laws will be presented to transport ministers in November with a view to implementing them next year.

Last Updated: 18/11/2016