Industry bid for defects clarity faces hurdles

By: Brad Gardner

NHVR says officers are trained to identify defects, not what is required to fix them


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has cast doubt on whether the trucking industry’s request for greater clarity from enforcement officers on heavy vehicle defects can happen.

The NHVR says industry representatives have expressed the need for more information about notices and what is needed to repair a defect.

However, it adds that road transport authorities are trained to identify a heavy vehicle defect, not what is needed to fix it.

"The NHVR has received feedback from industry that it is seeking specific information in defect notices on what is required to clear a defect, such as specifying the part that is to be repaired," the regulator says.

"Vehicles can be issued with a defect notice because they either fail a prescriptive standard or a performance based standard.

"Where a vehicle fails a performance based standard such as excessive movement at the wheel rim, the authorised officer is unlikely to be able to identify the exact cause, particularly at the roadside.

"Further, authorised officers are trained to identify the defect, not necessarily the actual defective component or the remedial action required."

The NHVR made the comments in response to the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) review of Australia’s heavy vehicle roadworthiness and inspection standards.

The regulator does not support changes that would require officers to explain to truck drivers in detail what has caused a particular defect.

"Any changes to the regulatory framework with respect to defect notices needs to ensure that they are not so overly prescriptive as to require authorised officers to identify the exact cause of the defect," the NHVR says.

The NTC released its paper on ways to improve heavy vehicle accreditation, inspection and roadworthiness standards in late January.

It will submit final recommendations to Australia’s transport ministers in July.

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