Ministers approve next step to reduce the number of unroadworthy heavy vehicles on Australia’s roads18 November 2015
A national approach to managing heavy vehicle roadworthiness based on best practice is one step closer, with ministers endorsing recommendations from the National Transport Commission (NTC) and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)’s joint heavy vehicle roadworthiness program.
Details of the reforms were published today by the NTC in a final regulatory impact statement.
Chief Executive of the NTC Paul Retter said the changes would help reduce the likelihood of roadworthiness related crashes and congestion caused by vehicle breakdowns.
“Safety should always be our first concern and helping to reduce the number of poorly maintained trucks on our roads will not only make our roads safer but will also increase fleet productivity,” Mr Retter said.
The Transport and Infrastructure Council agreed on a series of amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) that will improve roadworthiness and safety outcomes by:
- creating a primary duty of care on operators, prime contractors and employers to ensure the safety of their road transport operations
- creating a power for the NHVR to enter into an enforceable undertaking with a road transport operator to take specified steps to improve managing the roadworthiness of their fleet, and
- expanding the use of formal warnings by authorised officers.
The Transport and Infrastructure Council also agreed:
- that the NHVR develop a framework to support the risk-based inspection of heavy vehicles, to be provided to a future Council meeting
- that states and territory governments may elect to adopt a risk-based program of inspections for heavy vehicles prior to the commencement of the new national program, and
- that ministers consider further amendments to the HVNL at a future council meeting, assuming they agree to a risk-based inspection framework.
The proposed risk-based inspection framework will need to be developed and administered by the NHVR and will be connected to the national heavy vehicle registration system. Ministers are expected to consider the risk-based criteria in time for the planned commencement of the national heavy vehicle registration system on 1 July 2018.
This largely concludes the NTC’s involvement in the roadworthiness program. The NHVR will take the lead in the reform implementation.Last Updated: 18/11/2016