Trailer Magazine

Transport Ministers agree to increase HVNL enforcement

  • Posted on Wednesday 7th, June 2017.

Police and other authorised officers will have increased power to investigate and enforce the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), under policy changes agreed by Australia’s transport ministers.

Designated authorised officers will be able to issue prohibition notices to address an immediate safety risk. In order to address systemic maintenance issues they will also be able to require that a whole fleet or class of vehicles be inspected if the authorities have a reasonable belief that they are defective.

Chief Executive of the National Transport Commission, Paul Retter, said improved powers would help to make Australia’s roads safer for all road users.

“The overwhelming majority of Australia’s transport industry complies with the law and works hard to keep everyone safe,” Retter said.

“However we know there are a small number of people, whether they be operators, drivers or other parties in the Chain of Responsibility, who try to cheat the system.

"These changes to the HVNL will help the authorities crack down on illegal practices that put people’s safety at risk – not just people who work in the transport industry but anyone who uses the road.

“Where possible these policy changes have been designed to make the rules easier to comply with by more closely aligning them to existing workplace safety regulations.”

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will also be given the power to publish the outcomes of successful prosecutions to give tangible evidence about the effectiveness of Chain of Responsibility laws and providing safety lessons.

Courts will also have powers to issue injunctions to address ongoing safety risks.

“These changes will give real teeth to our Chain of Responsibility laws which hold the whole supply chain accountable for their role in preventing road crashes,” Retter said.

A meeting of transport ministers approved the policy changes on 19 May 2017 and a draft bill will now be developed and submitted to transport ministers for their consideration at their next scheduled meeting in November this year.

The changes follow a review to ensure that investigative and enforcement powers are appropriate for the new Chain of Responsibility duties, which will commence in 2018.

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