NHVR praised for rear marking plate flexibility


NatRoad gives thumbs up to grandfathering of signage

NHVR praised for rear marking plate flexibility
Sal Petroccitto

 

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) welcomes a National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) move to ease rear marking plate transition for heavy vehicles.

The three-year shift from older larger rear marker plates to more reflective ones, decided in 2016-17  and incompliance with VSB12 of the National Code of Practice Rear Marking Plates, was due on December 31.

NatRoad gave evidence to the NHVR that full compliance by the end of the year with the requirements of VSB12 was going to cost members a great deal of money especially at a time when COVID-19 has a stranglehold on the economy.

Now NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto has written to NatRoad agreeing.

"I appreciate the problems facing industry and the wider community at this time. In view of this, I have asked my Vehicle Safety and Performance team to move to a ‘grandfathering approach’ that will allow industry to upgrade plates when they are next due for replacement, rather than a fixed transition date," Petroccitto states.

"The NHVR will update VSB12 and provide information to industry about the change.

"While the updated standards would have ceased the manufacture of the older Class 2 plates, I am aware that a number of parts suppliers are continuing to sell these plates.

"The NHVR will raise awareness with parts suppliers, but I also seek assistance from industry associations, including NatRoad, to promote the current standard and work to ensure operators fit compliant plates.

"In relation to your concerns about the need for operators to purchase the relevant Australian Standard, I am pleased to advise that when the NHVR revised VSB12 in 2018 it ensured all information relevant to an operator was incorporated. 

"As such, there should be no need for an operator to purchase the Standard for rear marking plates. We will ensure we communicate this to industry so they aware."


Read about the NHVR’s updated COR gap assessment tool, here


NatRoad sees the flexibility on show as enlightened regulatory behaviour.

"The NHVR has responded with a sensible and balanced approach to the update requirements," CEO Warren Clark says.

"This is a win as it will save our industry members a substantial amount of money. 

"For one of our large members, it would have cost them about $100,000 to replace signage at a time when every cent should be allocated to keeping their business afloat.

"It’s great that the NHVR listened to these concerns.

"In addition, the requirements for the ‘do not overtake turning vehicle’ for New South Wales aren’t aligned with national requirements.

"NatRoad was concerned this would add further confusion about what the changes to be introduced by the end of the year meant in practical terms. 

"We appreciate the NHVR’s commitment to negotiate with Transport for New South Wales so that a set of national specifications for "do not overtake turning vehicle’ signs is clearly defined.

"NatRoad is grateful to the NHVR for proffering these solutions at a time when Australian road transport operators ask all regulators to recognise the need for cost burdens to be kept down and for regulations aimed at productivity enhancement to be given priority."

 

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