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At last – there’s a na­tional ap­proach to heavy trans­port

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - BIG WHEELS - JAMES STAN­FORD

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.

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