Toll, Linfox support ALC compulsory telematics plan

By: Andrew Hobbs


Major companies support ALC’s proposed HVNL changes in submissions to NSW inquiry

Toll, Linfox support ALC compulsory telematics plan
Linfox supports the Australian Logistics Council's position, requiring road transport operators to carry telematics equipment

 

Linfox and Toll have highlighted their support for an Australian Logistics Council plan to compel all heavy vehicles to carry telematics equipment.

The calls come in submissions to a New South Wales government inquiry that have just surfaced.

The NSW parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety, also known as the Staysafe Committee, is holding an inquiry into the use of technology to improve road safety, particularly for heavy vehicles.

In its submission, the ALC says the NSW government should advocate for further changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), establishing it as the law that regulates telematics in heavy vehicles.

The HVNL should be changed to require road transport operators to use software or hardware applications that collect a set of defined data, and that the data in question be saved and protected, the ALC says.

Included in that data would be vehicle speed, location and distance travelled, and the times the engine was on or off.

"ALC believes the law should meet clear technical standards that can be used in different statutory and commercial applications, with evidence collected on what could be described as being the ‘civil’ standard of proof," the group's submission states.

"This would be sufficient to allow a regulator to develop better targeted enforcement strategies, based on quality data."

ALC MD Michael Kilgariff said the industry feedback he had received showed that "the mandatory use of telematics is essential to driving efficiency and safety improvements in the heavy vehicle sector.

"ALC’s continuing discussions with industry participants regarding the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy indicate that industry is continuing to embrace innovative technological solutions," he says.

"Industry is grasping the nettle when it comes to telematics. Now is the time for governments to do likewise."

Linfox, Toll are on board

In its submission to the inquiry, Linfox supports the ALC’s recommendations, including the introduction of a national legislative framework to implement the HVNL.

"Linfox also believes there is significant potential in vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to everything communication, which are key enablers of both increased vehicle and network automation," its submission says.

"To help realise increases in safety and productivity that increased automation can deliver, a nationally consistent legislative framework supporting the testing and implementation of automated vehicles of all types and infrastructure solutions is key, as well as a framework that is able to be adapted as these dynamic technologies continue to rapidly evolve."   

The submission, prepared by Linfox Logistics CEO Mark Mazurek, also called for larger-scale testing of automated vehicle technologies and improved regional collaboration between councils spanning metropolitan areas.

Toll Group MD  Michael Byrne calls for telematics software, including GPS and black box technology, to be made mandatory for all new heavy vehicles in a letter to prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in January.

"Mandatory telematics on every vehicle will identify operators that systematically and deliberately speed, overload vehicles and push fatigue limits," he wrote at the time.

"Removing operators that refuse to do the right thing protects the community and allows good operators to remain competitive."

Toll maintained the position in its submission to the inquiry, saying telematics enables the company to support its drivers and put a team effort into safety.

"Over the longer term, the lessons we gain from telematics mean we train better drivers and design safer trucks that reduce the human element that is present in almost all crashes," the company said.

Toll notes that there was already a requirement for some heavy vehicles in NSW to have an in-vehicle monitor collecting information on the time, date and place a journey began and ended, as well as speed, distance travelled and time a vehicle is moving.

"This law has been in place for some time now and while we have some issues with it as it currently stands… there is little reason why NSW couldn’t use the experience it has from in-vehicle monitoring and be at the heart of driving a new national standard of telematics for all trucks," Toll says.

 

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