ATA raises concerns over new brake noise laws

Peak trucking lobby raises doubts over new laws limitng brake noise levels for heavy vehicles

November 9, 2009

The National Transport Commission’s (NTC) decision to limit engine brake noise has the potential to negatively affect trucking operators, the industry's peak lobby group claims.

The new laws set maximum noise levels for engine brakes and was developed by asking a community panel to determine what levels it thought were "annoying".

Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chairman Trevor Martyn says while a reduction in braking noise levels is good, the laws have not been tested in "real world" situations.

"There is often a wide gap between the intent of legislation and the outcomes it delivers on the road," he says.

"The use of a panel to determine the appropriate level of engine brake noise is subjective and raises questions about how this is going to affect trucking operators.

Mmodel legislation is expected to be implemented in a number of states, including New South Wales and South Australia which already monitor engine brake noise.

"The NTC argues that a correctly maintained truck will not be affected by the new laws, but the ATA wants to see the laws trialled and proven before it agrees with that statement," Martyn says.

He says the group will be paying close attention on how the laws are implemented and how states enforce them.

The NTC also gazetted model laws for twin steer mass and loading limits.

The laws will allow trucks fitted with twin steer axle groups to carry up to 56.5 tonnes at general mass limits and 49.5 tonnes at higher mass limits.

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