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Opinion: Hampering tampering is a necessary task

There is nothing victimless about illegal remapping and messing with speed limiters


The dangers of speeding are well publicised. A speeding vehicle is an unsafe vehicle and can tragically change many lives forever.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR’s) number one priority is safety – and that includes the safety of the heavy vehicles on our roads and the drivers who operate them.

Earlier this year, we launched an education campaign highlighting the health and safety risks associated with illegal heavy vehicle engine remapping.

It focused on the health and environmental implications tampering with an emissions control system can cause within the heavy vehicle industry and the community.

The latest round of information focuses on speeding – in particular, speed limiter tampering.

By and large, the heavy vehicle industry upholds safety to the highest levels. And the purpose of this campaign is to support the efforts of many in the industry to ensure everyone remains safe on our roads.

In the latest Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics report, data collated across states and territories in the past year showed about 70% of fatalities involving articulated trucks occurred in speed zones of 100km/h or above.

The increased numbers of heavy vehicles on our roads means it’s now more important than ever that everyone across the industry and the heavy vehicle supply chain is compliant.

Our message is simple – tampering with the emissions control system or speed limiter in a heavy vehicle is illegal and can be deadly.

Read about the NHVR’s productivity plans for the industry, here

Whether you’re an owner, a driver or performing maintenance on a heavy vehicle, everyone has a responsibility to ensure the vehicle is safe and compliant.

I understand there may be pressures connected with heavy vehicle businesses or individuals from time to time. But to illegally speed in a heavy vehicle should never be an option.

If you are being pressured to tamper with an engine’s speed limiter, or drive a vehicle above the legal speed limit, I urge you to contact the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line.

The NHVR has recently charged a number of companies and individuals with illegal engine remapping and we’ll continue to undertake investigations to protect the safety and integrity of our industry.

Encouragingly, we’re seeing more manufactures and owners upgrading their fleets to incorporate new technology that will ensure higher levels of safety, efficiency and productivity.

It supported the objective of our Vehicle Safety and Environmental Uptake Plan (SETUP), which outlines a program of work to accelerate the introduction of new safety and environmental technologies into the Australian heavy vehicle fleet.

The plan contains five work packages that aim to encourage operators to incorporate newer, more technologically advanced systems and vehicles into their fleets by removing regulatory barriers, offering productivity gains and providing education to industry.

We’ll continue to consult industry as the plan and technologies develop, but it’s encouraging to already see so much uptake.

As we move forward, the engine remapping campaign messages will remain important for the entire industry.

We’ve already heard from many of you, and I welcome the conversation – it means the information is widely available.

Hopefully the more people reached, the more positive the effect and change for the better.

Thank you to the majority that do the right thing and operate heavy vehicles that are compliant with the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

We all have a right to feel secure on the road and arrive safely at our destination.

For more information visit:

Sal Petroccitto is CEO of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

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