NatRoad re­leases plan

Risk-based sys­tem for zero fa­tal­i­ties

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

NATROAD says a newly framed Heavy Ve­hi­cle Na­tional Law (HVNL) should be about the man­age­ment of risk to help set the heavy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try on a path to zero road fa­tal­i­ties.

Richard Calver, NatRoad’s ad­viser, Compliance, out­lined the strat­egy to the Char­tered In­sti­tute of Lo­gis­tics and Trans­port in Can­berra re­cently.

“The first step is to move to a risk-based reg­u­la­tory sys­tem,” Mr Calver said.

“NatRoad sup­ports a move away from the ap­proach of mere compliance with spe­cific rules. This is espe­cially the case with the fa­tigue man­age­ment pro­vi­sions of the HVNL which con­tain a vast ar­ray of highly pre­scrip­tive el­e­ments, but for ex­am­ple, do not lead to the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and con­trol of im­pair­ment based on be­ing fa­tigued.

He said the cur­rent law could lead to a per­verse out­come of be­ing com­pli­ant but not al­ways safe.

“Let’s bring on the HVNL re­view and make the law more fo­cused on safety and less con­cerned with rev­enue rais­ing,” he said.

“The sec­ond step in­volves ad­dress­ing the re­cent stag­na­tion in the in­dus­try’s fa­tal­ity rate, which has re­duced to only 2 per cent per an­num in the three years to 2018.

“In this con­text, the aim of hav­ing zero road fa­tal­i­ties by 2050 is am­bi­tious. But this vi­sion is not a ques­tion of naiveté. The path to this goal is paved by ev­i­dence-based re­search.”

He said a ded­i­cated au­thor­ity such as the Aus­tralian Trans­port Safety Bureau (ATSB) should be given power to in­ves­ti­gate se­ri­ous truck ac­ci­dents.

He also called for an ac­cel­er­ated up­take of proven ve­hi­cle safety tech, greater in­fra­struc­ture spend­ing, and an in­creased em­pha­sis on Chain of Re­spon­si­bil­ity en­force­ment.

PHOTO: RACHEL VER­COE

New heavy ve­hi­cle laws should be more fo­cused on safety and less con­cerned with rev­enue rais­ing.

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