NHVR backs voluntary aspect of telematics reform

The national regulator opposes ALC's mandatory uptake call


In-vehicle telematics can improve safety in the trucking industry but the devices should be voluntary, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) says.

Responding to recent comments from the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), the NHVR believes giving trucking operators and drivers the choice to switch to the technology is the best way ahead.

The ALC wants governments to mandate telematics such as electronic work diaries (EWDs) to monitor compliance with fatigue management and chain of responsibility requirements.

EWDs are due to be introduced next year to give the industry the choice of using paper or electronic diaries to meet their fatigue management obligations.

"The NHVR believes it is in the interests of industry and operators to voluntarily adopt these technologies as they provide substantial business and safety benefits which assist operators in delivering on being a smarter, safer and more productive industry," an NHVR statement says.

"There may be a case for mandating some technologies, including regulatory telematics, however such a move would require appropriate consultation and discussion with industry and regulatory service providers prior to any decision."

The agency has, however, welcomed the ALC’s focus on trying to improve safety in the trucking industry.

NHVR executive director for productivity and safety Geoff Casey says the regulator agrees with the ALC that data captured from telematics can improve safety and compliance.

"Regulatory telematics, along with new and innovative technology solutions, provide a significant contribution to achieving and improving safety outcomes for all road users and the community more broadly," Casey says.

Changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law passed on February 6 to permit the introduction of voluntary EWDs throughout most of Australia in 2017.

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