IAP can't replace 'three strikes'

Trucking companies looking to technology to supersede 'three strikes' policy have been told not to get their hopes up

IAP can't replace 'three strikes'
IAP can’t replace 'three strikes'…for now
By Brad Gardner

Trucking companies looking to technology to supersede the controversial ‘three strikes’ policy in NSW have been told not to get their hopes up.

The body responsible for the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) says there is a "technical hurdle" to developing a system capable of monitoring a vehicle as it travels through various speed zones.

Trucking companies last month lobbied for the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) to abandon its three strikes policy for speed limits under 100km/h, arguing there was no way for companies to monitor a vehicle in built-up areas.

Transport Certification Australia (TCA) Chief Executive Chris Koniditsiotis says speed monitoring tools only work well in closed-zone areas such as carparks and warehouses.

"The difficulty is when you expand…is that some roads are 100km/h, some are 80km/h and some are 60km/h," he says.

"The challenge with various speeds is the missing link to the puzzle."

But the TCA has no plans to develop specifications for monitoring various speed limits, with Koniditsiotis saying the government-owned organisation is focused on on-board mass management and electronic work diaires for the time being.

"There is nothing on our radar at the moment to address that technological hurdle," he says.

Under three strikes, a driver is fined and a vehicle receives a strike if the speed limit is exceeded by 15km/h.

Once a truck receives three strikes in a three-year period for speeding, the RTA de-registers it for 28 days. The strike is limited to the vehicle rather than the driver, meaning once a new driver enters the truck the strike count does not reset until after the three-year period.

Although Alan Magill from Parkes-based A & R Magill Transport believes the issue is behavioural, the RTA refuses to alter the rule so it only applies in 100km/h zones.

"There is a limit to how much control we have over a guy. I’m not the one driving through a speed zone," Magill says.

Managing Director of MJ&SL Kennedy Michael Kennedy says the RTA’s policy should only be in zones of 100km/h or more because companies do have some form of control over drivers by way of speed limiters.

But Kennedy — whose company was hit with three strikes — says on-board management systems do not detect roadworks or school zones so operators are unable to determine if a driver is speeding through them.

But a spokesman for the RTA says the measure has been effective because only 15 percent of drivers re-offend after receiving a first strike.

NatRoad Chief Executive Bernie Belacic wants chain of responsibility laws applied, saying companies penalised with three strikes will be able to use the reasonable steps defence to show how much control they have over drivers.

The three strikes rule was originally intended to apply to speed limits over 100km/h, but the RTA eventually decided to apply it to all zones.

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