If there’s one priority all parties in the chain of responsibility share, it’s that road transport safety rules be as consistent and reliable as possible across the country.
On April 27, Western Australia takes a welcome step in this direction by introducing its own CoR legislation into law. The implementation follows a period of consultation with WA industry and national stakeholders.
Put simply, many of the responsibilities drivers, operators, consignors and consignees have had to follow on the road in other states will be now be enforced in WA. But the WA law also has some important differences.
CoR in WA – what’s changed?
The core principles of CoR are duplicated in the WA legislation, including:
• Legal accountability and general liability throughout the transport chain
• Additional enforcement powers for police and transport inspectors
• Increased sanctions and penalties
• The availability of the “reasonable steps” defence
• Container Weight Declarations (CWD)
However, WA’s CoR laws will only extend to vehicle mass, dimension and load restraint breaches. Fatigue and speeding will not come under the CoR regime at this time, although police and inspectors will continue to monitor these factors closely.
Importantly, the legislation will also apply to light vehicle transport. The state government says that applying CoR provisions to all vehicles regardless of size will gain the maximum road safety benefits.
What this means for you
The WA CoR regime will potentially affect a wider number of sectors than the HVNL, with a significant impact on courier and construction businesses that are heavily reliant on shifting goods by van or by ute.
It means that all WA businesses who are involved in the transport of goods need to develop and implement a relevant and responsive CoR policy as a matter of urgency.
And if you are already complying with the HVNL in other jurisdictions, but you do business in WA, you will need to expand your existing policies and procedures to cover light vehicle transport.
Until next time,
The CoR Adviser Team