HVIA of­fers stern cri­tique on PBS han­dling

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

Or­gan­i­sa­tion reg­is­ters con­cern on ap­proach of road man­agers, govern­ment arms

MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ERS AND SUP­PLI­ERS of heavy ve­hi­cles and their com­po­nents have raised sig­nif­i­cant con­cerns on the per­for­mance-based stan­dards (PBS) scheme.

Heavy Ve­hi­cle In­dus­try Aus­tralia (HVIA), their rep­re­sen­ta­tive body, be­lieves PBS ben­e­fits must be more broadly un­der­stood by pol­icy mak­ers, road man­agers and the gen­eral com­mu­nity. The com­ments are in­cluded in HVIA’s re­sponse to the Na­tional Trans­port Com­mis­sion’s (NTC) dis­cus­sion pa­per, As­sess­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of the PBS Scheme.

Ac­cord­ing to HVIA na­tional man­ager pol­icy and govern­ment re­la­tions Greg Forbes, the NTC’s re­view pro­vides “com­pelling ev­i­dence” of the type and mag­ni­tude of ben­e­fits the PBS scheme has de­liv­ered to the com­mu­nity and to road man­agers.

“It is clear, how­ever that the un­der­stand­ing of th­ese ben­e­fits is poor,” Forbes says. “PBS has driven a con­sid­er­able amount of in­no­va­tion in the heavy ve­hi­cle sec­tor, how­ever, the rate of re­form on many im­por­tant is­sues has been slow. HVIA is hop­ing that the pub­li­ca­tion of this re­port will act as a cat­a­lyst for re­form.”

De­spite its ef­forts, HVIA is find­ing progress stuck in the slow lane, with the na­tional reg­u­la­tor yet to take any re­form steps, in­clud­ing on cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, its sub­mis­sion states. Is­sues raised in­clude: • Those re­lated to static rollover thresh­olds • Vari­a­tions on de­signs • Doc­u­men­tary re­quire­ments • Com­po­nent sub­sti­tu­tion, mod­i­fi­ca­tions of de­signs af­ter ap­provals • In­ter­ac­tion be­tween PBS, ve­hi­cle mod­i­fi­ca­tions and road­wor­thi­ness and au­dit­ing.

HVIA is also con­cerned about au­dit­ing of the PBS process.

“The au­dit­ing should fo­cus on both en­sur­ing that the var­i­ous scheme par­tic­i­pants, such as as­ses­sors and cer­ti­fiers, are do­ing their job cor­rectly, but, also ad­dress the is­sues over con­sis­tency of ad­vice from reg­u­la­tors,” it says.

But per­haps the great­est con­cern HVIA has, one that the NTC re­port fails to ad­dress, is the at­ti­tude of some road man­agers.

“The cen­tral rea­son that PBS ac­cess has not worked is that road man­agers have not ac­cepted that the com­pli­ance with the as­set pro­tec­tion com­po­nents of the PBS stan­dards will in­deed re­sult in the PBS ve­hi­cles caus­ing no more dam­age than the equiv­a­lent pre­scrip­tive ve­hi­cles,” the sub­mis­sion states.

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