Topics / Safety / Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness (policy work complete)

A joint project with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to investigate options to reduce the amount of unroadworthy heavy vehicles on Australian roads.

Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness (policy work complete)

  • Scoping > 
  • Analysing issues > 
  • Analysing options > 
  • Implementing


Unsafe heavy vehicles on our roads contribute to many safety and productivity issues, including crashes, fatalities, serious injuries, breakdowns and congestion.

Recognising the heavy social and economic costs of these problems, the NTC and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) worked together on a joint program to improve heavy vehicle roadworthiness.

The key objective of the program is to improve heavy vehicle roadworthiness in order to contribute to the reduction of the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.

Next steps

Ministers endorsed the recommendations from the Final Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) to improve the roadworthiness of Australian heavy vehicles in November 2015.

The key recommendations will improve road safety by:

  • ensuring that heavy vehicles at highest roadworthiness-related risk are inspected
  • requiring risk-based inspections for vehicles that are currently registered in jurisdictions that do not have routine roadworthiness inspections
  • Extending Chain of Responsibility with a primary duty of care on operators, prime contractors and employers to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety of their road transport operations  including vehicle roadworthiness
  • providing new enforcement options that allow the NHVR to accept enforceable undertakings from road transport operators to raise the roadworthiness of heavy vehicle fleets that have systematic deficiencies in their vehicle maintenance.

The risk-based inspection framework and system will need to be developed by the NHVR before being considered by ministers in November 2017.

Its anticipated that the NHVR will implement this project progressively, until mid-2018.

The program has involved consulting with technical experts, heavy vehicle operators and drivers, government agencies and police to identify the best ways to achieve this.


In November 2013, following a serious crash in Mona Vale, New South Wales involving a heavy fuel tanker and resulting in two fatalities, transport ministers asked the NTC and NHVR to develop proposal for an effective, national roadworthiness regime.

The program had four phases:

  1. Review the current practice in roadworthiness, including compliance by industry members and management by regulators, completed in July 2014.
  2. Assess the integrity of how current practice is supporting transport objectives (road safety, productivity/efficiency), completed in August 2014.
  3. Develop options and preliminary recommendations for measures to improve roadworthiness levels, currently underway.
  4. Finalising those recommendations.

Get involved

Contact us

Project Manager Jeff Potter
Last Updated: 30/5/2018