Keep design rules in place: ATA

Trucking association says there is no need to change regulations that keep unsafe vehicles off the roads

Keep design rules in place: ATA
ATA argues against any relaxation of the heavy vehicle ADRs


The Australia Trucking Association (ATA) has urged the Federal Government to retain the existing system of design rules for heavy vehicles.

The peak transport industry body lodged its submission to the ongoing review of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (MVSA) last week, noting that the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) for heavy vehicles were working effectively.

"The ATA supports the current Act’s objectives to improve the safety, environmental performance and security of road vehicles, including trucks, and suggests that it is a vital policy instrument for achieving those ends," the submission states.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development is conducting the review across all vehicle categories.

It says a number of changes in the road environment, including the planned exit of local car manufacturers by 2017, have made it question how well the MVSA is working at ensuring all Australian vehicles are safe and environmentally suitable.

It is asking stakeholders if there are any problems with the MVSA, and what policy remedies may be available.

In its submission, the ATA argues against any relaxation of the heavy vehicle ADRs.

It acknowledges that others will urge the Government to adopt international United Nations (UN)-based standards, which will reduce compliance costs for vehicle manufacturers and importers. 

But the ATA says Australia has unique road conditions that demand an independent approach.

"Australia has unique operating conditions for heavy vehicles and allows innovative and safe vehicle combinations such as B-doubles, B-triples and road trains," it says.

"Australian truck operating practices also differ in important respects to those overseas.

"It can be useful and productive to align those ADRs with UN regulations, but in some cases it will not be appropriate."

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