Heavy vehicle roadworthiness review on track for safer roads


JOINT RELEASE - National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and National Transport Commission (NTC)

The National Transport Commission (NTC) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) today announced the completion of Phase One of their joint Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Review, with the publication of a report examining current practice in heavy vehicle roadworthiness across the nation.

CEO of the NTC Paul Retter said Australia’s transport industry deserved cost-effective, evidence-based safety solutions.

"This Phase One report outlines current practice for ensuring heavy vehicle roadworthiness in Australia. It’s essential to take this first step and get a clearer picture of how things are done now," Mr Retter said.

"In the past, most Australian research on roadworthiness focused on light vehicles, but we know the issues are often very different for heavy vehicles."

The Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Review is an integrated program being delivered by NTC and NHVR in response to concerns following a fatal fuel tanker crash in New South Wales in October last year.

The program has two streams of work:

  • heavy vehicle roadworthiness inspection regimes
  • National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS).

Ultimately, the review aims to improve heavy vehicle roadworthiness in order to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries on our roads.

NHVR Chief Executive, Sal Petroccitto said, at this foundation stage of the review, the important thing was to be asking the right questions.

"As the national regulator, we’re keen to know: what's the current state of play in Australia and where are there inconsistencies?" Mr Petroccitto said.

Transport ministers recently directed the NTC to consider the best way of applying chain of responsibility laws to those responsible for the roadworthiness of heavy vehicles.

"It is important for every part of the heavy vehicle industry help reduce the risk of crashes," Mr Retter said.

"Extending the chain of responsibility laws to heavy vehicle roadworthiness could be one way to make drivers and our roads safer."

Phase Two of the review will test the integrity of current roadworthiness systems and develop reform options and draft recommendations for submission to transport ministers in November 2014.

In publishing the Phase One report, the NTC and the NHVR are also inviting industry comment and contributions to the review.

"It is important to clearly state our findings at each stage of the review, so that anyone who wants to contribute can present their evidence and suggestions for improvement," Mr Petroccitto said.

"Even though the first recommendations for the review are not due to go to Australia's transport ministers until later this year, wherever possible, we'll put good ideas into action early."

Comments can be forwarded to the NTC and the NHVR at RWprogram@ntc.gov.au.

A copy of the Phase One report can be downloaded from the NTC and NHVR websites at www.ntc.gov.au or www.nhvr.gov.au/nhvas-review.


Media contacts:
Matt Nurse (NTC) – 0407 351 277
Orla Thompson (NHVR) – 0419 092 510