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ALRTA takes aim at Intelligent Access Program

Industry body uses HML submission to list issues with the IAP


The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has come out strongly in its opposition of the current role of the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) in Higher Mass Limits (HML) regulation.

A part of its response to National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) Issues Paper on the 2017 Drafting of the National HML Declaration, the industry body says the regulator needs “to go much further” than a note that it will “review IAP and telematics in terms of their administration and application.”

“If Australia is to fully realise the projected $1.8bn in productivity, safety and environmental benefits promised by a nationally consistent approach to HML then it is imperative that the NHVR insists on a central role in developing and administering a nationally consistent, risk-based, approach to IAP,” a message prepared by executive director Mathew Munro says.

Taking a look at New South Wales and Queensland, the ALRTA believes after eight years there is “no justification for the application of IAP as a mandatory requirement for HML.”

The industry body says the IAP is based “a poor technology platform that relies on continual driver declarations” and is “the primary factor preventing greater uptake of HML by eligible vehicles on gazetted HML routes.”

It “greatly erodes the productivity gains of operators who do take up HML,” the ALRTA says, and “rarely improves ‘last mile’ access to the farm gate; does not protect vulnerable infrastructure; generates millions of false non-conformances annually; and has not resulted in a single successful HML related prosecution.”

To address these problems, the ALRTA says the NHVR should “propose to remove IAP as a mandatory condition of HML and instead develop a new ‘route integrity’ component of the NHVAS Mass Management module that could be supported with a modern telematics system chosen by each operator” and “immediately commence work on nationally consistent, risk based, guidelines for the application of IAP as a road access condition”.

It would also like a series of government regulations be amended to ease current IAP restrictions and empower the NHVR.

While it has an issue with the IAP, the ALRTA says it has backed several proposals in the NHVR Issues Paper, seeing positives in:

  • implementing HML limits by axle group rather than heavy vehicle combination types
  • requiring NHVAS Mass Management accreditation for tri-axle groups
  • requiring road friendly suspension (RFS)
  • allowing 22.5t for a triaxle group
  • not requiring the HML declaration to be carried by the driver in either physical or electronic format.

It also has ‘in principle’ support for the current use of vehicle type and HML overlays to determine the appropriate vehicle routes in Queensland, though it believes the IT platform in the state “which displays a series of disjointed PDF maps of differing scales is the worst in Australia.”

“As far as possible, NHVR should work towards ensuring that operators can zoom in and out of a national map and view the entire route at one time,” the ALRTA says.

The body would also like to see an incentive for installing road friendly suspension on a tandem group operating at concessional mass limits. It would recommend an additional 0.5t additional mass.

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