The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has written to all Transport and Infrastructure Ministers urging them to accelerate reforms to introduce compulsory telematics in heavy vehicles.
“The benefits of ‘black box’ technology are self-evident and its mandatory introduction is long overdue,” said Michael Kilgariff, ALC Managing Director.
“ALC has long argued that it should be mandatory for heavy vehicles to carry telematics devices (‘black box’ technology) and ALC is urging Ministers to make 2016 a year of action to deliver on this important safety initiative.
“It is time to bring to a head this matter, which has been long discussed, debated and examined by governments.
“The data captured by these devices relating to speed and fatigue offences can be used by both businesses and enforcement agencies to improve safety and compliance on our roads, but to drive this reform across the supply chain, it needs to be made mandatory.
“Data captured by telematics devices can and should be used to manage obligations imposed under the Chain of Responsibility provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law,” he said.
Mr Kilgariff said his letter encouraged Transport and Infrastructure Ministers to commit to two key actions.
First, they should authorise the immediate development of an amendment to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), which would require a heavy vehicle to carry equipment meeting systems standards set out in HVNL regulations.
Second, they should establish a working group with appropriate expertise to identify the standards and system platforms necessary for the collection of data for regulatory and business management purposes.
An ALC submission (which was supported by Linfox, Toll and Asciano) to the National Transport Commission in 2010 highlighted studies in Europe and the US that showed introducing black boxes to monitor fatigue and speed had reduced heavy vehicle accidents by 20-30%; reduced the severity of the accidents; and in Europe, reduced single vehicle heavy vehicle accidents to around 15%, from around 50%.
“Notwithstanding the safety and compliance benefits telematics will help deliver, it is also becoming increasingly apparent that telematics also have an important role to play in any new road funding mechanism that may be designed,” he said.
“It is time for action on this initiative and ALC looks forward to working with government to turn this much discussed reform into a reality,” he said.
The critical issues of heavy vehicle safety, compliance, and technology will be hot topics of discussion and debate at next month’s ALC Forum, 1-3 March 2016, Royal Randwick, Sydney.