NatRoad welcomes change to Road Vehicle Standards legislation

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) is pleased that when the Road Vehicle Standards Bills become law, the legislation will specifically recognise heavy vehicles to ensure that the already complex laws don’t cause additional problems.

“NatRoad has made a number of submissions seeking a guarantee this legislative package would not have unintended consequences for the heavy vehicle sector – that it wouldn’t accidentally break that which doesn’t need to be fixed,” said NatRoad CEO, Warren Clark.

Last month, the Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, announced that refinements will be made to the supporting Rules of the legislation before it is considered by the House of Representatives.

The Government has agreed to amend the draft Rules to allow for the modification of heavy vehicles, prior to provision to a customer, according to Vehicle Standard Bulletin 6 (the National Code of Practice for Heavy Vehicle Modification).

“Essentially, this amendment will mean there is no change to the way trucks will be supplied to the market,” Clark explained. “This provides certainty for operators, retailers, importers and the Australian heavy vehicle manufacturing industry and we commend the Government for this initiative.”

Currently, truck cabs and chassis built in Australia or imported from overseas are modified to meet Australian standards, these modifications include fitting of a fifth wheel.

“Under the original draft, it was not clear if the legislation would: require an additional manufacturing stage to make mandated modifications legal, impact on the process for registering as an Approved Vehicle, or even create a compliance risk for those who modified or drove modified vehicles,” Said Clark.

“Remembering that the modifications undertaken are required by law to meet Australian standards, the potential unforeseen consequences would have been counterintuitive. Especially when we know the current national and state registration systems have resulted in an Australian heavy vehicle fleet with exceptional levels of roadworthiness,” he said.

(Image: National Road Transport Association CEO, Warren Clark.)

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