On the same page
At last – there’s a national approach to heavy transport
gaining full powers by the end of the year when state governments pass appropriate legislation.
From Monday, the NHVR will take over the running of two schemes that allow operators to run trucks that don’t normally fit within state regulations. These include the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) and Performance Based Standards (PBS).
The NHVAS allows for operators to prove they have excellent safety standards and sound management policies and in turn be granted benefits such as more flexible fatigue management regimes and being allowed to run larger trucks with higher weights on more routes.
The PBS is a scheme that allows operators to run certain configurations of trucks that fall foul of certain regulations (such as those regarding dimensions or weight) but can be proven to be safe.
Later in 2013, when the appropriate legislation is passed, the NHVR will take over more operations, some of which affect all truck drivers and operators.
The new federal body will take over control of fatigue management laws.
Different interpretations of the laws’ wording in different states have caused grief for some truck drivers operating across borders.
It will also oversee the Chain of Responsibility laws (COR), which are designed to hold all parties responsible in the event of an incident on the road. For example, if a driver has been ordered to deliver freight by a certain time by a manager, even though the manager knows that would require breaking fatigue management laws, the manager would also be charged with an offence.
One of the biggest elements that will come under the new body’s control will be the standardisation of vehicle mass and dimension rules. Some truck-related regulations will remain state responsibilities, including registration, licensing and rules relating to the transport of hazardous goods.
State and territory police and road authorities will continue to enforce heavy vehicle offences along with existing state legal systems.