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NTC wants feedback on proposed changes to HVNL

May 26, 2016

Last week’s CoR Bulletin discussed the penalties associated with tampering with speed limiters, noting that a number of heavy vehicle drivers had been caught with faulty devices in a clamp down in NSW called Operation StateTrans.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has shown its concern for the illegal practice, by inviting submissions from the public on ways to prevent trucks from speeding on the nation’s roads.

NTC Chief Executive Paul Retter said heavy vehicles were still overrepresented in fatal and serious injury crashes and that speed was still a major cause of heavy vehicle crashes.

Currently, all heavy vehicles over 12 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM) and all buses over 5 t GVM are required to be fitted with a speed limiter set to 100 km/h.

“While the majority of drivers do the right thing, we need to ensure there are effective deterrents for the few who are determined to break the law,” Mr Retter said.

The NTC is seeking feedback on two potential amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The two proposals

1              Evidence of a heavy vehicle speeding at or above 115 km/h will be taken as proof that a speed limiter is non-compliant and in breach of vehicle standard requirements.

2              Enforcement officers would have the power to temporarily stop heavy vehicles from driving if they were detected travelling at 15 km/h over the speed limit.

Mr Retter said that if a heavy vehicle was detected travelling at 115 km/h or faster it would be deemed that the vehicle’s speed limiter was non-compliant. And, when that was the case, authorities would have the power to immediately ground the vehicle.

“Currently, it is technically challenging for enforcement officers to demonstrate a speed limiter is defective, and this proposal would make it easier,” he said.

The purpose of the proposed changes is to ensure that the driver and those involved in the chain of responsibility are held accountable for speeding significantly above the limit.

The NTC’s discussion paper is available at the NTC website. Public submissions are open until 24 June.

What to do next …

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