COR reform to boost heavy vehicle roadworthiness


National law changes to see more COR-related duties and regulator powers

COR reform to boost heavy vehicle roadworthiness
The QTA welcomes flexibility in compliance.

 

Transport ministers’ reform moves will see chain of responsibility (COR) boost heavy vehicle roadworthiness, the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) notes.

That is the upshot of the Transport and Infrastructure Council’s backing (TIC) for National Transport Commission (NTC) and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)’s joint heavy vehicle roadworthiness program.

The council agreed on a series of amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL):

  • creating a primary duty of care on operators, prime contractors and employers to ensure the safety of their road transport operations
  • creating a power for the NHVR to enter into an enforceable undertaking with a road transport operator to take specified steps to improve managing the roadworthiness of their fleet
  • expanding the use of formal warnings by authorised officers.

The primary duty will apply to all COR parties, including consignors, consignees, loaders, schedulers, transport operators, contractors and employers and was a key change the Industry had lobbied for.

It is seen as ensuring COR parties must consider their operations as a whole rather than ticking off compliance boxes.

"Best practice safety legislation uses primary duties to outline the scope of a business’s responsibilities, and allows businesses to develop their own procedures to meet these standards," QTA president Ben Almond says.

The council also agreed:

  • the NHVR develop a framework to support the risk-based inspection of heavy vehicles, to be provided to a future Council meeting
  • states and territory governments may elect to adopt a risk-based program of inspections for heavy vehicles prior to the commencement of the new national program, and
  • ministers consider further amendments to the HVNL at a future council meeting, assuming they agree to a risk-based inspection framework.

"The proposed risk-based inspection framework will need to be developed and administered by the NHVR and will be connected to the national heavy vehicle registration system," the QTA says.

"Ministers are expected to consider the risk-based criteria in time for the planned commencement of the national heavy vehicle registration system on 1 July 2018.

"The NHVR will take the lead in the reform implementation."

 

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