Industry to have a say on opportunities to improve heavy vehicle roadworthiness


The National Transport Commission (NTC) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) are calling for submissions on potential improvements to safety outcomes for the heavy vehicle industry as part of the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program.

NTC Chief Executive, Paul Retter, and NHVR Chief Executive, Sal Petroccitto, today released the second of two foundation reports on Australia's current roadworthiness systems.

"We've now completed the second step in the four-stage process of this program," Mr Retter said.

"The NTC and NHVR have identified areas for short-term and long-term potential reforms. We're now calling for submissions from industry and the community on the best way to improve heavy vehicle roadworthiness and make our nation's roads safer."

"These two reports together present a complete picture of the current national system for roadworthiness, as well as identifying opportunities to improve it," Mr Petroccitto said.

"Release of these reports is a springboard to the next and possibly most critical stage of the Roadworthiness Program, where we consult with industry and start to shape recommendations based on industry feedback."

In coming weeks, the NTC and the NHVR will discuss a range of possible measures with industry and government stakeholders, including:

  • a clear definition of roadworthiness
  • better education and training, particularly in relation to operators' responsibilities
  • chain of responsibility duties designed to improve the roadworthiness of heavy vehicles
  • a standardised "second party" inspection system
  • clearer arrangements for when and how defects are issued, and cleared, and
  • robust accreditation and safety management systems, particularly to strengthen the NHVAS audit system.

In phase three of the Roadworthiness Program, recommendations will be distilled into a draft Regulatory Impact Statement for consideration by Australia's transport ministers in November, following which there will be national consultation on the final proposed improvements and changes.

"I encourage anyone interested in better safety outcomes for the heavy vehicle industry to take the time to read the reports and get involved," Mr Petroccitto said.

"Road safety professionals and transport company fleet managers should particularly study the concepts of ‘defence in depth' which are presented in this paper as a model for assessing the integrity of the current national roadworthiness system."

Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Review Phase 2 - Integrity Review of the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness System is now available to view and provide feedback on.

Feedback on the report and suggested opportunities for improvements to Australia's heavy vehicle roadworthiness systems can be made via the NTC until Friday 26 September 2014.