Truck laws broken: NatRoad

Freight vehicle on the Western Highway outside of Sydney.

The National Road Transport Association is taking its longstanding concerns about the slow-moving Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) reform directly to senior bureaucrats.

Practical changes, according to the industry body, need to prioritised and delivered.

In a comprehensive response to the National Transport Commission HVNL Regulation Impact Statement, NatRoad has maintained that Australia’s national truck laws are broken and need fixing.

“NatRoad fully backs proposed reforms to reduce the administrative burden of the HVNL for operators, but it needs to happen now,” said Chief Executive Officer, Warren Clark.

“Improving how the laws are enforced, reducing penalties for non-safety breaches, and improving heavy vehicle access to our roads are ‘no brainers’. They need to be national priorities.

“At the risk of sounding like a broken record, HVNL reform has gone on for too long.

“The time for stalling is over. Governments must now deliver practical changes that ease the red tape burden on industry. “

Regarding specific issues raised in the consultation, NatRoad’s submission calls for the removal of duplicate and administrative process record-keeping requirements and offences in the HVNL.

Proposals to allow reviews of trifling offences and the use of warnings for work diary administrative offences should be supported according to NatRoad.

It also endorsed plans to increase general mass limits and vehicle dimensions, with additional mass allowances for Euro VI vehicles.

Regarding proposals to increase the scope of fatigue regulation, NatRoad is calling for a data-led assessment of how best to reduce crashes.

“HVNL reform must also better assess potential implementation costs, which will hit operators in the form of higher taxes and charges at a time when industry is already under extreme cost pressure,” said Clark.

“There needs to be stronger reform options to reduce the penalties for non-safety offences and increasing the general access length for B-doubles.

“In addition to legislative reform, Governments must also accelerate work on developing the new automated access system and improving as-of-right access networks to cut down the red tape burden on industry.”

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