Queensland Parliament has passed the first two amendment bills, bringing new truck safety laws a step closer, according to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA).
One other bill still needs to be passed before the new laws come into effect on 1 October 2018. The new laws will apply in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory under a co-operative scheme arrangement.
The ATA and its member associations have advocated for the development and extension of the truck safety laws since 2012, as part of its plan to improve truck safety and eliminate prescriptive red tape.
“This is an important win for the industry,” said ATA Chair, Geoff Crouch.
“It has taken us a long time to get here but the last pieces of the new safety provisions are now in place.
“Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and these new laws mean customers and trucking businesses have to focus on developing and maintaining appropriate safety systems,” he said.
Together with amendments passed in 2016, the new laws introduce: a strong general safety duty, including on trucking industry customers; the extension of the Chain of Responsibility (COR) concept to cover vehicle maintenance and repairs; due diligence obligations on company directors and executives to ensure chain parties comply with their primary safety duty
maximum penalty increases for the most serious cases to bring them in line with other national safety laws; and the removal of red tape and unnecessary legislative requirements.
With the support from the Australian Government and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), the ATA and the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) have developed a master registered code of practice to help businesses comply with the new law, manage risks and improve safety.
“The master code of practice is designed to make businesses safer and ensure they are compliant with the new provisions,” said Crouch.
“The ATA’s best-practice accreditation system, TruckSafe will implement the master code to help members comply with the changes and make sure they’re covered.
“Under chain of responsibility, participants in the road transport chain – including consignors and consignees – can be held accountable for safety issues on the road, so I strongly recommend that businesses become TruckSafe accredited,” he said.
(Image: Australian Trucking Association Chair, Geoff Crouch.)