Brother wants big­ger

If the na­tional reg­u­la­tor was seek­ing to scare the truck­ing horses, it did well

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

“Some quar­ters may har­bour con­cerns at Big Brother be­ing in the cab and at the of­fice desk”

What sort of na­tional reg­u­la­tor does the in­dus­try want? Well, thanks to the Na­tional Freight and Sup­ply Chain Strat­egy ( NFSCS) in­quiry, we know what kind it wants to be.

And that is the kind that is cen­tral to freight trans­port’s fu­ture role in con­tin­u­ing the na­tion’s eco­nomic suc­cess. On the way there, it hopes to in­flu­ence in­dus­try be­hav­iour through greater pow­ers over en­force­ment and mon­i­tor­ing.

This can hap­pen through in­dus­try data sup­plied to the NHVR’s Safety and Com­pli­ance Reg­u­la­tory Plat­form that will in­te­grate with the Na­tional Com­pli­ance In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem ( NCIS).

The NCIS network will mon­i­tor heavy ve­hi­cle travel times, regis­tra­tion sta­tus through the na­tional regis­tra­tion sys­tem and com­pli­ance his­tory.

“It will also de­tect ve­hi­cles/driv­ers that fail to en­ter heavy ve­hi­cle safety sta­tions for com­pli­ance checks,” the NHVR says.

“This pro­vides real-time ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion to make on-road en­force­ment stronger and bet­ter tar­geted at un­safe op­er­a­tors, re­sult­ing in less de­lay and in­ter­ven­tion for com­pli­ant op­er­a­tors and less time pres­sure on the road.

“This in­for­ma­tion also pro­vides gov­ern­ment and in­dus­try with a clear un­der­stand­ing of the main causes of crashes, such as fa­tigue and speed, so we can de­velop a pic­ture of the trends that cause these safety risks so they can be bet­ter pre­vented.” Ge­orge Or­well says “hi” from Ocea­nia.

Hon­estly, even though, thank­fully, it’s a pub­lic doc­u­ment, some bu­reau­crats re­ally could think harder about how these things will be in­ter­preted.

And it won’t be as a straight swap of trans­parency for ef­fi­ciency.

While it is bound to send a shiver down a lot of truck­ing spines that feared just this sort of over­sight, the in­dus­try’s shock­ing fa­tal­ity record means that won’t count for much else­where, es­pe­cially given that things have stopped im­prov­ing.

But while some quar­ters may har­bour con­cerns at Big Brother be­ing in the cab and at the of­fice desk, oth­ers ap­pear to be­lieve that it should be so.

Lin­fox has not been shy of pushing com­pli­ance re­cently.

“Safety and com­pli­ance is the num­ber one fo­cus for Lin­fox Lo­gis­tics, re­flected in our com­pany’s Vi­sion Zero ethos,” re­gional CEO An­nette Carey says when ad­dress­ing “safety and com­pli­ance, and na­tional co­or­di­na­tion

“In­dus­try con­cern at such trends is well un­der­stood.

“There’s a rea­son our in­dus­try is as closely reg­u­lated as it is; given the safety risks at­ten­dant to fl y-by-night heavy ve­hi­cle ag­gre­ga­tors, Lin­fox be­lieves there is no place for grey ar­eas, or over­look­ing non- com­pli­ance in the trans­port in­dus­try.

“Lin­fox also be­lieves there is sig­nif­i­cant po­ten­tial in ve­hi­cle to ve­hi­cle ( V2V) and ve­hi­cle to ev­ery­thing ( V2X) com­mu­ni­ca­tion, which are key en­ablers of both in­creased ve­hi­cle and network au­to­ma­tion.

“To help re­alise the mooted in­creases in safety and pro­duc­tiv­ity that in­creased au­to­ma­tion can de­liver, a na­tion­ally con­sis­tent leg­isla­tive frame­work sup­port­ing the test­ing and im­ple­men­ta­tion of au­to­mated ve­hi­cle (of all types) and in­fra­struc­ture so­lu­tions is key, as well as a frame­work that is able to be adapted as these dy­namic tech­nolo­gies con­tinue to rapidly evolve – these rules can­not be set and for­get.”

Per­haps there were more trans­port fi rms amongst those which kept their thoughts in anonymous sub­mis­sions or maybe they left it to their in­dus­try groups to make their points.

Ei­ther way, more from those who should be con­cerned the most would defi nitely have been bet­ter.

Note: Last month’s col­umn stated the hope that “the late, great” Tom Lehrer had been “cre­mated, lest a dis­rup­tor uses what’s in his grave to pro­pel trucks without the need for diesel”. This au­thor n ow re­alises that noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth and the man who brought us ‘Poi­son­ing Pi­geons in the Park’ is, thank­fully, still with us. We hope he re­tains his sense of hu­mour. He joins Au­gust com­pany in hav­ing been con­signed to the here­after pre­ma­turely by the press . . .

on frame­works gov­ern­ing ve­hi­cle and in­fra­struc­ture au­to­ma­tion and con­nec­tiv­ity” to the in­quiry.

“In other sec­tors of the trans­port in­dus­try, there has been a highly pub­li­cised move away from strictly reg­u­lated and stan­dard­ised train­ing re­quire­ments for driv­ers and safety stan­dards for ve­hi­cles, con­sis­tent with the en­trance into the mar­ket of rideshar­ing op­er­a­tors with low to no bar­ri­ers to en­try.

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