Telematics industry demands mandatory IAP for B-triples

Telematics providers are trying to swing opinion in favour of mandating IAP for B-triples

Telematics industry demands mandatory IAP for B-triples
Telematics industry demands mandatory IAP for B-triples
By Brad Gardner | October 4, 2011

Telematics providers are trying to swing government opinion in favour of mandating the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) for B-triples, suggesting the industry cannot be trusted to stick to designated routes.

The five providers approved to offer IAP services have penned a submission to the National Transport Commission (NTC) claiming drivers will ignore route restrictions if they are not monitored under the GPS-tracking scheme.

The Australian Regulator Telematics Industry group (ARTI), which is the umbrella association for the five IAP providers, made the comments in its response to the NTC’s discussion paper which recommends B-triples be given access to the type 1 road network.

"The NTC discussion paper states that the risk of non-compliance is no greater than that of B-Doubles. The ARTI believes this to be correct, but it needs to be noted that B-Doubles routinely travel off B-Double routes today," the ARTI writes.

"If modular B-triples are approved without requiring a route compliance tool such as IAP, it can be expected that they will travel off-route."

The claims contradict the NTC’s argument there is no evidence showing B-triples pose a non-compliance risk. Furthermore, it says mandatory IAP will impose "exorbitant costs" on trucking operators with multiple vehicles.

According to the NTC’s figures, which the ARTI does not dispute, IAP installation can cost $1500 to $1700, with ongoing costs reaching $1846 per year for each prime mover.

"With no evidence to suggest that the risk of route non-compliance of the IAP-applied vehicles is greater than that of the remainder of the fleet, it is inappropriate to impose the type of monitoring currently active in only two jurisdictions [Queensland and NSW] on a national policy," the NTC says.

The Australian Trucking Association – a strong critic of IAP – echoed the NTC in saying there is no justification for B-triples to be monitored.

However, the ARTI claims on-road enforcement cannot be relied upon to keep B-triples in check.

"Clearly on-road enforcement is not working for B-doubles, and it should not be assumed that it will work for B-triples," it writes.

"The reason that B-doubles are currently able to operate off route regularly now is because the on-road enforcement is ineffective. Recommending that B-triples operate under the same regime as B-doubles will ensure that, as B-triples proliferate, they will operate off-route increasingly."

The group says the cost of IAP must be seen in the context of the benefits operators will gain from using more efficient trucks. Currently, Queensland and NSW require IAP as a condition for access to higher mass limits (HML).

Furthermore, the ARTI says mandating IAP could assuage community fears about the 35-metre long trucks because it will guarantee they stay on designated routes.

"This is a powerful argument to ease the concerns of the public," it says.

The NTC will this month finalise its proposal, which wants B-triples to eventually be given access to the inter-capital road network.

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