GREEN LIGHTS FOR SAFETY LAWS

In­dus­try lob­by­ing pays off

Big Rigs - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW truck safety laws are a step closer, with the Queens­land Par­lia­ment pass­ing the first of two amend­ment bills needed to make the laws work.

One other bill still needs to be passed be­fore the new laws come into ef­fect on Oc­to­ber 1, this year.

The new laws will ap­ply in NSW, Vic­to­ria, Queens­land, South Aus­tralia, Tas­ma­nia and the ACT un­der a co-op­er­a­tive scheme ar­range­ment.

The Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and its mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions have ad­vo­cated for the de­vel­op­ment and ex­ten­sion of the truck safety laws since 2012, as part of its plan to im­prove truck safety and elim­i­nate pre­scrip­tive red tape.

“This is an im­por­tant win for the in­dus­try. It has taken us a long time to get here but the last pieces of the new safety pro­vi­sions are now in place,” ATA chair Ge­off Crouch said.

“Safety is ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity, and th­ese new laws mean cus­tomers and truck­ing busi­nesses have to fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing and main­tain­ing ap­pro­pri­ate safety sys­tems,” he said.

To­gether with amend­ments passed in 2016, the new laws in­tro­duce:

■ A strong gen­eral safety duty, in­clud­ing on truck­ing in­dus­try cus­tomers

■ The ex­ten­sion of the chain of re­spon­si­bil­ity con­cept to cover ve­hi­cle main­te­nance and re­pairs

■ Due dili­gence obli­ga­tions on com­pany di­rec­tors and ex­ec­u­tives to en­sure chain par­ties com­ply with their pri­mary safety duty

■ Max­i­mum penalty in­creases for the most se­ri­ous cases to bring them in line with other na­tional safety laws, and

■ The re­moval of red tape and un­nec­es­sary leg­isla­tive re­quire­ments.

With the sup­port from the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment and NHVR, the ATA and the Aus­tralian Lo­gis­tics Coun­cil have de­vel­oped a mas­ter reg­is­tered code of prac­tice to help busi­nesses com­ply.

“The ATA’s best-prac­tice ac­cred­i­ta­tion sys­tem, Truck­Safe will im­ple­ment the mas­ter code to help mem­bers com­ply with the changes and make sure they’re cov­ered,” Mr Crouch said.

“Un­der chain of re­spon­si­bil­ity, par­tic­i­pants in the road trans­port chain – in­clud­ing con­signors and con­signees – can be held ac­count­able for safety is­sues on the road, so I strongly rec­om­mend that busi­nesses be­come Truck­Safe ac­cred­ited,” he said.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

MA­JOR WIN: Ge­off Crouch has ap­plauded the lat­est news about safety laws.

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