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Taskforce recommends extending Chain of Responsibility laws

By FLEET e-news posted 26-06-2014 13:19

An independent taskforce has recommended Chain of Responsibility provisions under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) be extended to cover vehicle standards and roadworthiness. 

The review taskforce, which consisted of representatives from the transport industry, road managers and police, made the recommendation in a report released by the National Transport Commission (NTC) in June 2014. 

Under the HVNL, Chain of Responsibility (CoR) laws currently apply to speed management, fatigue, vehicle mass, vehicle dimensions and load restraint. “The taskforce supports extending the CoR regime to heavy vehicle standards and roadworthiness. However, further consideration is needed to settle the standards to be applied and the parties to be covered,” the report said. 

"By linking maintenance into the Chain of Responsibility, pressure is eliminated from suppliers or people asking operators to do jobs in conditions that don't allow for adequate maintenance, because the responsibility now pushes back on to them," says Grant Andrews, Uniqco Managing Director and IPWEA fleet expert.

"I think the change really rounds out the laws, and will be good for the whole industry," he adds. 

The review commenced in May 2013 and was completed in April 2014. During that time, the taskforce held six meetings, issued three papers for public consultation and arranged three workshops – two involving industry associations and one involving regulators and police. 

The independent taskforce also recommended the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) develop a program and timeline for preparing and issuing Chain of Responsibility guidance material. 

At the IPWEA Plant and Vehicle Management Workshop in Penrith, NSW in May 2014, Mike Wood, Managing Director at LATUS, Logistics Risk Specialists, delivered a keynote address about CoR laws and how they apply to councils. 

The NTC will present its recommendations to transport ministers in November. 


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