Government targets heavy vehicle safety

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has commissioned an independent review into heavy vehicle accreditation schemes.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the independent review would inform future structural and operational improvements in the schemes.
“Heavy vehicle accreditation schemes have proven benefits for road safety across a number of heavy vehicle sectors, including trucks, cranes and buses,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“The national roadworthiness survey released earlier this year showed major non-conformities for vehicles in accreditation schemes dropped from 13 per cent to nine per cent.
“That said, I believe it is time to independently review the systems and processes to ensure they deliver the future safety outcomes our growing industry requires.
“The review will look at a range of factors, including governance and oversight, rules and standards, as well as examining associated assurance activities.
“I’ve also asked for feedback on the safety merits of requiring operators that sub-contract on government infrastructure projects to be accredited.”
The review will kick off with a marketplace scan to identify the best practice approach for accreditation schemes, and identify inconsistencies that exist between schemes.
The independent review will examine schemes such as Western Australian Heavy Vehicle Accreditation and the NHVR’s National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme, as well as industry schemes such as TruckSafe. The review will also take into account relevant experience from overseas.
The independent review will be conducted by transport expert Peter Medlock and is expected to take up to eight weeks to complete.
Mr Petroccitto welcomed the support of Transport and Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester who recently outlined several key investments to improve heavy vehicle safety.
ATA on board
“Thank you to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, for listening to our calls to review truck safety accreditation programs,” chairman of the Australian Trucking Association Geoff Crouch said.
“Operators, industry, government and regulators need to work together on truck safety.
“Recognising safe practices should not be an unbalanced competition between government and industry like the ATA’s TruckSafe program.
“By working together we give the public and industry customers the confidence that heavy vehicle operators are meeting strict standards.
“It does not help road safety when the government accreditation program, the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS), is not as comprehensive as the industry’s own program in TruckSafe.
More than 800 operators have invested to meet rigorous standards over the years, yet participants do not receive the same regulatory benefits as NHVAS operators, Mr Crouch said.
“This independent review will give TruckSafe a chance to demonstrate its value to road safety and the trucking industry.
“We will be making the case for credible accreditation programs like TruckSafe to be recognised by governments as being effective and rigorous on safety.
“TruckSafe is everything governments should want to see; an industry led solution, adapted over 20 years, independently audited and giving operators a competitive choice.
“Operators should have choice, clarity and confidence when choosing a program to recognise their safety practices,” Mr Crouch said.

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