Tampering with engine speed limiters is dangerous

Earlier this year, the NHVR launched an education campaign highlighting the risks associated with illegal engine remapping.

The first round of the campaign focused on the health and environmental impacts emissions can cause within the heavy vehicle industry and the community.

The latest version of the campaign emphasises the significant danger speed limiter tampering poses for heavy vehicle drivers and other road users.

We’ve received a lot of feedback on the campaign from all parts of the industry – and that’s a good thing. When people are talking about what’s happening within the industry and voicing their opinions on something as important as illegal engine remapping, I welcome the discussion. Education and awareness go hand-in-hand with our compliance and investigation activities, which will target those who continue to do the wrong thing.

This campaign has certainly struck a chord, and the more people we reach, the more impact we have.

After all, the core message reflects why the NHVR exists: to ensure a safe, productive and efficient industry. Tampering with an engine to disable the emissions control system can release up to 60 times more pollutants into the atmosphere.

Emissions are often invisible to the eye and may not necessarily be front of mind, but they can leave a lasting impact.

What is more obvious is speeding in a heavy vehicle, which is illegal and unnecessary, and the risks are even more significant. The latest Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics report shows 70 per cent of fatalities involving articulated trucks occurred in speed zones of 100km/h or above. And this is why the latest version of our engine remapping campaign is so important.

A billboard for the NHVR’s speed limiter tampering campaign.

Tampering with an engine to deliver increased speed capacity above the legal limit is dangerous. Whether you’re an owner, driver or performing maintenance on a heavy vehicle, everyone has a responsibility to  ensure the vehicle is compliant.

So, if you find yourself in a situation where you’re being pressured to tamper with an engine’s speed limiter, I encourage you to contact the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line, so our team can assist you.

The NHVR has recently charged a number of companies and individuals with illegal engine remapping and we’ll continue to  undertake investigations to protect the safety and integrity of our industry. In addition to the education campaign, we’re also doing our part to support the introduction of new technology into the Australian heavy vehicle market to help improve safety, increase productivity and reduce environmental impacts.

Our Vehicle Safety and Environmental Technology Uptake Plan (SETUP) outlines a program of work currently being undertaken to accelerate the introduction of new safety and environmental technologies into the Australian heavy vehicle market. The plan contains five work packages that aim to encourage operators to incorporate newer, more advanced systems and vehicles into their fleets.

It supports the Federal Government’s National Road Safety Action Plan and was developed following extensive consultation across industry.

It’s pleasing to see more and more heavy vehicle operators interested in using technology to improve the safety, productivity and efficiency of their fleets. A copy of SETUP can be found on the NHVR’s website.

Thank you to the majority of operators that do the right thing and operate heavy vehicles that are compliant. We all have a right to feel secure on the road and arrive safely at our destination. For more information about illegal engine tampering, visit www.nhvr.gov.au/engineremapping

Sal Petroccitto

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