Better safety outcomes and a stronger Chain of Responsibility (CoR) are the result of the Parliament of Queensland passing amendments to the National Heavy Vehicle Law, according to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
According to the ATA, the amendments will now include a primary safety duty that will apply to all parties in the chain of responsibility, including consignors and consignees; the extension of chain of responsibility to truck maintenance and repairs; a reduction in red tape; higher maximum penalties; and a new due diligence obligation on company directors and executives, but with a requirement that the prosecution prove its case.
Ray Hassall, Acting CEO of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), said the amendments to the Law are a welcomed improvement and will be critical for a more robust heavy vehicle industry.
“These reforms are a significant leap forward in recognising everyone in the supply chain has a role to play in ensuring safety,” he said. “One of our roles as the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is to provide information and educational resources to guide the industry through these changes.
“We are doing just that through our soon to be released guidelines for industry Codes of Practice, and most recently the release of our first series of CoR podcasts and factsheets as part of a national effort to boost safety for all road users.”
An implementation period has been proposed that will see these reforms come into effect in mid-2018, which will ensure all parties have time to prepare for the changes.
Hassall said it will now be much easier for duty holders to understand and assess their risks, and know they are complying with the law. “Through the replacement of existing prescriptive obligations, the whole transport industry can benefit from a reduction of red tape and better apply risk management processes to focus on safety outcomes.”
The new laws will take effect in early 2018.