ATA calls for vehicle inspection and defect overhaul

Crouch says current system doesn’t always link to safety outcomes

ATA calls for vehicle inspection and defect overhaul
ATA wants a reformed inspection process


The new Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) should make significant reforms to defect notices and national inspection policies, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says.

Commenting on the association’s submission to the national truck law review on vehicle standards and safety, ATA chair Geoff Crouch says current defect notices are inconsistent, poorly structured and don’t always link to a significant safety issues

He adds it’s an issue the ATA has been pursuing since 2014, with the need for action having only grown stronger since then.

"The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator [NHVR] and road agencies have ample powers backed by substantial penalties to prosecute through the court system if it is necessary," he says.

The ATA submission calls for new national truck laws to:

  • deliver enforceable standards that set out a consistent approach to defect notices and how they can be cleared
  • take a risk-based approach that allows minor defects to be addressed by formal warnings, on-the-spot repairs and self-clearing processes
  • Provide a review mechanism for defect notices issued in error or that are inconsistent with NHVR’s inspection and roadworthiness manuals
  • deliver consistent and proportionate roadworthiness inspections.

Read Crouch's take on audits and accreditation, here

"We’re also calling for the new laws to recognise the NHVR’s role as a national standard setting body and require it to comply with best practice regulation and consultation requirements," Crouch says.

"The laws must also adopt a risk-based approach to heavy vehicle modifications and include third-party maintenance providers as parties in the chain of responsibility.

"It is vital we gather feedback from those who experience these issues on a day-to-day basis to ensure the new laws are as fair and effective as possible."

The full submission is available here.


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