NHVR orders heavy vehicle accreditation schemes review

By: Rob McKay


Government’s own NHVAS to join TruckSafe and WAHVAS in local and international comparison

NHVR orders heavy vehicle accreditation schemes review
Sal Petroccitto says the review’s time has come.

 

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commissioned an independent review into heavy vehicle accreditation schemes to support improved road safety.

The review will inform future structural and operational improvements in the schemes, according to the regulator.

The move comes three years after National Transport Commission (NTC) CEO Paul Retter called for a single accreditation model

and in a year when the Australia Trucking Association (ATA) campaigned in support of the industry’s Trucksafe scheme, backed by TruckSafe Industry Accreditation Council chair Professor Michael Coper.  

"Heavy vehicle accreditation schemes have proven benefits for road safety across a number of heavy vehicle sectors, including trucks, cranes and buses NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says.

"The national roadworthiness survey released earlier this year showed major non-conformities for vehicles in accreditation schemes dropped from 13 per cent to nine per cent.

"That said, I believe it is time to independently review the systems and processes to ensure they deliver the future safety outcomes our growing industry requires.

"The review will look at a range of factors, including governance and oversight, rules and standards, as well as examining associated assurance activities.

"I’ve also asked for feedback on the safety merits of requiring operators that sub-contract on government infrastructure projects to be accredited."

The review will begin with a marketplace scan to identify the best practice approach for accreditation schemes, and identify inconsistencies that exist between schemes.

It will examine schemes such as Western Australian Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (WAHAV) and the NHVR’s National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, as well as industry schemes such as TruckSafe. The review will also take into account relevant experience from overseas.

WARTA executive officer Cam Dumesny backed the move.

"I think NHVR is to be commended for conducting such as review," Dumesny tells ATN. 

"We welcome that NHVR is looking at WA's Heavy Vehicle Accreditation system, as WA is always happy to help the East improve!"

He adds that WAHVAS already has mandatory modules "so we don’t have the competing systems issues between ALC, ATA and NHVR" and notes that WA Main Roads has also commenced its planned review of the WAHVA.

Transport expert Peter Medlock will conduct the NHVR review that is expected to take up to eight weeks to complete.

Transport expert Peter Medlock will conduct the NHVR review that is expected to take up to eight weeks to complete.

An independent review of truck safety accreditation programs will boost safety and fairness for operators and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, according to the ATA.

"Thank you to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, for listening to our calls to review truck safety accreditation programs," ATA chair Geoff Crouch says.

"Operators, industry, government and regulators need to work together on truck safety.
"Recognising safe practices should not be an unbalanced competition between government and industry like the ATA’s TruckSafe program.

"By working together we give the public and industry customers the confidence that heavy vehicle operators are meeting strict standards.

"It does not help road safety when the government accreditation program, the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), is not as comprehensive as the industry’s own program in TruckSafe.

"More than 800 operators have invested to meet rigorous standards over the years, yet participants do not receive the same regulatory benefits as NHVAS operators, Crouch says.

"This independent review will give TruckSafe a chance to demonstrate its value to road safety and the trucking industry," he adds.

"We will be making the case for credible accreditation programs like TruckSafe to be recognised by governments as being effective and rigorous on safety.

"TruckSafe is everything governments should want to see; an industry led solution, adapted over 20 years, independently audited and giving operators a competitive choice.

"Operators should have choice, clarity and confidence when choosing a program to recognise their safety practices."

Crouch said the ATA had run a solid, evidence-based campaign to secure the review including:

  • a submission to the Commonwealth treasurers competitive neutrality review
  • a submission to the South Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme Regulatory Impact Statement
  • evidence before the Senate Inquiry into Aspects of Road Safety
  • detailed discussions with state and federal governments.

"I thank governments for considering the facts and evidence we put forward and we look forward to working closely with the review chief, Peter Medlock," Crouch says.

Petroccitto also welcomed the support of Transport and Infrastructure minister Darren Chester who recently outlined several key investments to improve heavy vehicle safety.

"I believe an independent review will give operators the confidence to adopt or continue utilising accreditation schemes," Petroccitto says.

"I also want to ensure the operators have options to strengthen or develop safety management systems ahead of new Primary Duty requirements and Chain of Responsibility laws coming in mid-2018."

To view the term of reference, visit www.nhvr.gov.au/about-us/engaging-with-industry/review-of-heavy-vehicle-accreditation-systems

 

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook