NatRoad releases plan
Risk-based system for zero fatalities
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.
New heavy vehicle laws should be more focused on safety and less concerned with revenue raising.