Current projects / Review of penalties within the Heavy Vehicle National Law (policy work complete)

This project aims to make sure penalties are fair and any changes are consistent with existing penalties in the HVNL, as well as other state and territory transport laws.

Review of penalties within the Heavy Vehicle National Law (policy work complete)

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

Purpose

Accidents involving heavy vehicles are over represented on Australian roads. Trucks and buses make up about three per cent of vehicles and about eight per cent of the vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) on Australia’s roads, yet are involved in—albeit not necessarily responsible for—18 per cent of total road deaths and three per cent of total injuries.

We know most drivers take their own safety and the safety of other road users seriously. Penalties exist to discourage unsafe behaviour in the minority of drivers whose behaviour may otherwise result in deaths or injuries.

The 2016 review aimed to make sure that penalties are fair and applied consistently by helping ensure that any changes to setting maximum penalties or determining the suitability of demerit point penalties are consistent with existing penalties in the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), as well as other state and territory transport laws.

Next steps

The NTC has developed a penalties matrix process and demerit point assessment process. Both processes are used to guide governments, in consultation with agencies and other stakeholders to develop a national set of penalties.

The HVNL maintenance group (the stakeholder advisory group that periodically provides advice on possible amendments to the law) uses the ‘Penalties Matrix Process’ to assess penalties for any new or amended offences under the HVNL.

The NTC and the HVNL maintenance group is currently using the ‘Demerit Point Assessment Process’ to consider the suitability of new and amended offences for demerit point penalties.

Background

The HVNL Penalties Framework Review’s Final Report approved by ministers in May 2014 recommended that:

  • the NTC work with governments and industry to develop a penalties matrix to ensure penalties are set accurately
  • this process should occur alongside, or as part of, any chain of responsibility amendment package
  • a broad, systematic demerit points review process be incorporated into the proposed penalties matrix exercise.

Get involved

Contact us

Project Manager Robert Chamberlain
Last Updated: 8/3/2017