NTC seeks feedback on NHVL speed amendments


Retter says despite a range of regulatory and speed detection tools, heavy vehicles are over-represented in accidents

NTC seeks feedback on NHVL speed amendments
NTC chief Paul Retter says it is important to make sure "off-road parties are held to account for putting any undue pressure on drivers to speed".

 

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is seeking public feedback on two new proposals aimed at reducing heavy vehicle speeding.

The potential amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (NHVL) include:

  • an evidentiary provision that deems a speed limiter non-compliant if a vehicle is detected travelling at or above 115km/h
  • a power to immediately ground heavy vehicles travelling 15km/h or more over posted or default speed limits.

NTC chief executive Paul Retter says despite a range of regulatory and speed detection tools being introduced since the 1990s, heavy vehicles are still over-represented in fatal and serious injury crashes.

"Speed is still a major cause of heavy vehicle crashes and while the majority of drivers do the right thing, we need to ensure there are effective deterrents for the few who are determined to break the law," Retter says.

"We also need to keep making sure off-road parties are held to account for putting any undue pressure on drivers to speed.

"For these reasons, a number of our stakeholders have asked the NTC to find out if there are further ways that the National Heavy Vehicle National Law can work to deter heavy vehicle drivers from speeding."

All heavy vehicles over 12 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM) and all buses over 5 tonnes GVM are currently required to be fitted with a speed limiter that is set to 100km/h.

Under the first proposal, evidence of a heavy vehicle travelling at or above 115km/h will be taken as proof that a speed limiter is non-compliant, and in breach of vehicle standard requirements.

"Currently, it is technically challenging for enforcement officers to demonstrate a speed limiter is defective, and this proposal would make it easier to prosecute those who break the law," Retter says.

A similar provision is already in place in NSW.

The second proposal will give the power for enforcement officers to temporarily stop heavy vehicles from driving if they are detected travelling at 15km/h over the limit so that both the driver and the off-road parties are held appropriately responsible for speeding significantly above the limit.

Further details on the proposals are available within the Enforcement approaches for speeding heavy vehicles discussion paper on the NTC website.

Submissions are open until Friday, June 24, 2016 and can be made through the NTC website.

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