NTC releases roadworthiness consultation document

Photography by: Brad Gardner

Industry response sought for national approach to improving safety

NTC releases roadworthiness consultation document
Paul Retter asks for careful consideration of the options packages


A crucial step in the national bid to improve the roadworthiness of Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet has been taken with the National Transport Commission (NTC) releasing four options packages to government, authorities and industry.

The packages, part of an effort that aims to identify the most effective use of accreditation schemes, inspections and other mechanisms, are contained in a 225-page consultation regulatory impact statement that will be used to assess a number of regulatory options, and their potential impacts.   

"While the condition of heavy vehicles is just one of many factors that affect Australia’s road toll, we need to do what we can to reduce any crashes caused by poorly maintained vehicles," NTC CEO Paul Retter says in encouraging interested parties to carefully consider the document and respond before March 25.

"By improving heavy vehicle roadworthiness we will be able to reduce the pain of road trauma, increase the productivity of truck fleets and also reduce traffic congestion caused by truck breakdowns."

Each of the options packages includes potential changes to inspection processes and procedures, education and training, greater capability to target the highest risks, scheduled inspections, accreditation schemes, and possible changes to chain of responsibility laws, the NTC says.

The options were developed in the course of the National Heavy Vehicle Roadworthiness Program which is a joint undertaking by the NTC and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

"People should bear in mind that none of these packages represent final decisions but are instead designed to encourage feedback from stakeholders on areas of possible reform," Retter says.

He adds that those making a submission "should include evidence where possible, to ensure any changes best reflect the needs of Australia’s heavy vehicle industry, other road users and the Australian public".

After stakeholder consultation, the NTC will present its final recommendations to the country’s transport ministers in July.

The release comes at a busy time for the NTC, which is two days away from the deadline for submissions for its chain of responsibility review and which released a telematics industry framework in November.

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