Opinion

NHVR reaches significant milestone

NHVR

Since commencing in 2016, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) National Services Transition program has successfully transitioned heavy vehicle regulatory services from the relevant state and territory transport agencies in the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales, to the NHVR.

The program has now reached completion following the transition of services in Queensland, the final participating jurisdiction to transfer responsibility for the direct delivery of heavy vehicle regulatory services.

As most would be aware, this responsibility shifted from the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) to the NHVR on April 20.

This ended an eight-year journey towards a more streamlined and consistent approach to how heavy vehicles are regulated in Australia. A significant milestone for our organisation, and for the entirety of the heavy vehicle transport sector.

As a direct result of the transition, industry is benefiting from a borderless operating model. There is now a more consistent approach to compliance and enforcement across the country, and a single point of interaction for consistent, reliable information about the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and issues facing drivers and businesses.

The NHVR uniform logo and branded vehicles can now be seen across Queensland, with NHVR safety and compliance officers (SCOs) working roadside and at heavy vehicle inspection sites across the Sunshine State.

Industry must still meet the same safety requirements as they have done in the past, with our SCOs authorised to stop heavy vehicles and check for compliance with the Heavy Vehicle National Law as well as some other heavy vehicle related state-based laws.

Our officers will check compliance with mass, dimension, load restraint, vehicle standards, access conditions, driver fatigue and work diaries, as well as some state requirements, like dangerous goods, licensing and registration.

The NHVR is providing nationally consistent education, enforcement and resources, and will undertake more complex Chain of Responsibility and primary duty investigations into duty holders across the supply chain.

We are delivering our inform, educate and enforce approach to Queensland roads. The NHVR is committed to this regulatory intervention strategy – we have always placed priority on educating industry on how to comply with the HVNL, whether it’s via our on-road compliance activities or industry engagement.

We understand the importance of utilising our enforcement methods for those who consistently do the wrong thing and won’t hesitate to enforce the HVNL where required.

Following the transition, the NHVR has assumed responsibility for issuing infringements and prosecuting serious heavy vehicle related offences in Queensland, in addition to issuing defect notices where heavy vehicles do not comply with safety standards.

As a modern regulator, we are increasingly using data to target the biggest safety risks on our roads. We now have national data to inform more targeted compliance activity, and better capability to deliver timely, national responses to critical compliance issues.

To ensure a seamless one-stop-shop approach for heavy vehicle regulation in Queensland, the NHVR is now also providing Programmed Vehicle Inspections (PVI) on behalf of TMR, including at regional and remote PVI locations. Industry can continue booking a PVI through existing TMR channels, but fleet bookings must be organised through the NHVR Contact Centre.

While the transition of services in Queensland is the end of a significant reform program for the NHVR, there is still plenty of work to be done. Our focus now lies on accelerating harmonisation across state borders, as we continue on the long road towards a safer, more efficient and productive heavy vehicle industry in Australia.

For more information on the transition, visit www.nhvr.gov.au/about-us/national-services-transition

Sal Petroccitto OAM became CEO of the NHVR in May 2014, bringing extensive knowledge of heavy vehicle policy, strategy and regulation to the role. Over the past seven years, Sal has led a significant program of reform across Australia’s heavy vehicle industry, including transitioning functions from participating jurisdictions to deliver a single national heavy vehicle regulator, harmonising heavy vehicle regulations across more than 400 road managers, and modernising safety and productivity laws for heavy vehicle operators and the supply chain.

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