NSW model for national compliance database

By: Steve Skinner

National trucking regulator is working on a system that will lead to targeted enforcement of operators with dodgy maintenance

NSW model for national compliance database
Brett Patterson, statewide operations manager with NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is looking to NSW for inspiration as it develops a national maintenance compliance database.

The comments came at the recent Technical and Maintenance Conference in Melbourne.

One of the keynote speakers at the TMC was Brett Patterson, statewide operations manager with NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).

Patterson says RMS uses collected information to target specific operators and sectors.

He says on any day there are more than 460,000 heavy vehicles operating on NSW roads, and more than 60 per cent of interstate heavy vehicle traffic passes through the state.

NSW has by far the biggest investment of any state in heavy vehicle checking stations, checking  technology and staff. For example there are eight safety stations on arterial roads, including the Hume, Pacific and Great Western Highways.

"We are able to do some data mining, look at some specific operators, look at some specific sectors, and undertake an operator profile," Patterson says.

He says these "operator of interest" profiles lead to the targeting of "higher risk" operators who record penalty notices higher than the state average during intercepts.

Many operators and drivers may not be aware of this, but at several safety stations in NSW there is "risk-based" screening lane technology on the approaches.

"We do a number of checks in a heartbeat and then it’s a guidance sign which makes a decision about whether the vehicle goes in or out" (to the main weighbridge area), Patterson says.

Those checks include camera scans of registration plates which can pick up previous misdemeanours and Safe-T-Cam data en route; "weigh-in-motion" technology; and height sensors.

"So we screen over 3.2 million vehicles a year just at four checking stations, and that’s how we are able to grab some of that data in the risk-based screening. Where there’s a possible non-compliance, it (the truck) will get sent in (to the weighbridge).

"For those good complying operators who are doing the right thing, along with your merry way."

On top of these millions of automated screenings in NSW came more than 540,000 physical heavy vehicle inspections in 2015-2016.

These comprised: 226,000 inspections at the 8 safety stations; 120,000 during targeted blitzes with other agencies such as the police and EPA; 100,000 random inspections on the side of the road; and 93,000 annual rego checks for larger vehicles.

From the 540,000 overall inspections, 117,000 notices were issued. That makes for an overall notice to vehicle intercept rate of 22 per cent.

Specific notice to intercept rates came in at 11 per cent for B-doubles; 20 per cent for semi-trailers; 20 per cent for rigids with trailers (e.g truck and dogs); 33 per cent for rigids; and a whopping 52 per cent for "plant".

Brakes accounted for a quarter of the key defects identified.

Part of the overall inspections regime was "Operation State Trans" in May. Total defects issued ran at 13 per cent, with the good news being that of those, "major defects" trended down to 11 per cent.


NHVR,-Tony -Martin ,-TMC,-OWD


The NHVR’s Tony Martin (above) spoke of the project underway within the national regulator to develop a "national compliance information system" along the lines of NSW.

"It’s essentially going to drag the compliance and enforcement information from every jurisdiction," Martin told the TMC delegates.

"We’re going to pool all that information together and then we going to use it to pretty much do what Patto (Patterson) is able to do in NSW, do that on a national scale, so we’ll be able to understand and clearly see where the highest risk areas lie.

 "We’ll be able to deploy our resources in a much more strategic way, and those compliant operators, we’ll let you get on with business."

The TMC is organised by the Australian Trucking Association and Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association.

For the full feature on the TMC check out the December issue of Owner//Driver. Subscribe here.



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