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Choosing the penalty that fits the crime

August 24, 2017

Our transport law experts are often asked how does the regulator determine the type of penalty for offences committed under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL)?

Under the HVNL, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has defined the four different categories of breaches that may apply to different range of offences:

1. minor breach – risk of someone gaining a minor unfair commercial advantage over those who operate legally, but no risk to safety or infrastructure.

The range of penalties is usually between $1,000-$3,000;

2. substantial breach – risk of damage to infrastructure, increasing traffic congestion and unfair competition. It may also involve some risk to safety, although not an appreciable risk.

The range of penalties is usually between $4,000-$6,000;

3. severe breach – appreciable risk to safety, more severe risk to infrastructure, greater risk of traffic congestion or a greater level of unfair competition.

The range of penalties is usually between $8,000-$10,000; and

4. critical breach – contravention of fatigue-regulated maximum work time and/or minimum rest time which would adversely affect the driver’s ability to drive safely.

The range of penalties is usually between $15,000-$20,000 and sometimes higher.

These categories of breaches can result in penalties being imposed based on the severity of the offence and are usually enforced as administrative or Court penalties. An accumulation of penalties for multiple offences can result in heavy fines that can impact upon the financial stability of the business.

In addition, breaches can result in investigations throughout an organisation and have even resulted in the grounding of heavy vehicle fleets, exposing the companies concerned to significant business losses.


Want to know how to avoid breaching the CoR rules and being hit with financial penalties, plus the time out of your business to conduct investigations, attend to legal proceedings, and the like?

The best way to know is by subscribing to CoR Adviser newsletter to understand your obligations to the heavy vehicle and logistics supply chain.

Written in plain English by the transport lawyers at Holding Redlich, the monthly newsletter is full of information specific to the subject of chain of responsibility.

This type of information can’t be found in the daily media, and often when it is located online, it is scattered across many websites or written in language that is sometimes hard to understand.

Not CoR Adviser – all the information is straightforward, succinct and all in the one place – including downloadable and editable forms and templates to help simplify this sometimes confusing subject.

Subscribe today to CoR Adviser – it’s a small investment to protect you and your business from possible financial penalties.