NTC unveils compliance review paper

Submissions sought on a range of draft recommendations based on industry consultations

September 20, 2013

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a heavy vehicle industry compliance review paper for public consultation.

The Heavy Vehicle Compliance Review makes a range of draft recommendations on how to better encourage, promote and enforce compliance within the industry and based on extensive interviews and consultation with heavy vehicle drivers, operators, enforcement bodies and industry peak bodies.

Its theme is that "finding ways to promote better compliance within the heavy vehicle industry is important to increase safety and ensure those who break the law are not rewarded with any competitive advantage".

While acknowledging improvements in attitudes and outcomes since the 1970s, NTC CEO and Commissioner Paul Retter emphasises that compliance and enforcement remain central issues for the community with regards to road safety, fairness, protection of the road network and its health and wellbeing.

"With the introduction of the new national law to underpin the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)
later this year, it is a great opportunity to take a fresh look at regulatory compliance and address some long standing as well as more recent issues in this area," Retter says.

The draft recommendations identified in the review include that:

  • the new NHVR play a large role in educating industry about the laws and their obligations
  • Chain of Responsibility investigations become a major component of the enforcement effort of the NHVR
  • outcomes of prosecutions be made public to give comfort to compliant operators that rogue elements of the industry are being dealt with
  • guidelines be developed on the use of various intervention strategies within the Heavy Vehicle National Law, including formal warnings and improvement notices, compensation orders, supervisory intervention orders and prohibition orders so that they can be appropriately utilised by regulators.

NTC research has found that Australian regulators "are not fully utilising the suite of intervention measures available to them, and this review explores possible ways to improve this", Retter says.

"It’s important to have effective deterrents in place which address the reasons why non-compliance with the law occurs, which the review explores in some detail."

Public submissions close on November 1 and the review can be found here.

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