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Whose responsibility is a faulty speed limiter?

May 19, 2016

In the first two weeks of Operation StateTrans (which runs throughout May), NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Officers working alongside Roads and Maritime Services heavy vehicle compliance inspectors have intercepted about 13,800 trucks and applied more than 1600 defects to trucks and trailers. Also, 888 infringements and 317 breaches were issued for a range of offences, including fatigue, loading, registration and licences.

Inspectors also found 66 non-compliant or tampered engine control modules that allow drivers to exceed the 100km/h speed limit.

Tampering with a speed limiter obviously breaches CoR laws, but if your vehicles have speed limiters fitted and tested by a reputable company and they are found to be faulty or not properly configured, how does this affect your CoR obligations?

Transport lawyer and Editor-in-Chief of CoR Adviser, Geoff Farnsworth, says: “As an operator, manager or scheduler of a business involved in road transport, it is your responsibility to ensure that the vehicles are regularly maintained and that any speed limiters that are fitted are functioning properly.

“You are able to take a number of steps where speed limiters are maintained and tested by your supplier that will help you to meet your responsibility,” he adds.

Take these 3 steps:

  1. ensure that you have a written agreement with your supplier that makes it clear that the supplier is providing maintenance and testing services that comply with the recommendations of the manufacturer of the speed limiters, and that the supplier is promising these services will ensure that the speed limiting devices are functioning correctly, and also correctly configured to meet your business’s obligations;
  2. ensure that there are measures in place that will prevent any tampering with the speed limiter configuration by unauthorised people; and
  3. provide information to drivers, schedulers and management about:
  • the purpose of the speed limiters;
  • the criminal consequences for not having functioning and compliant speed limiters; and
  • the importance of driving at safe and lawful speeds for driver and public safety.

Knowing how to take ‘reasonable steps’ to avoid breaching CoR laws is what makes CoR Adviser so successful. Subscribers get the benefit of advice from transport lawyers and industry experts on this often difficult subject area. And with changes afoot, can you afford not to be fully informed about your CoR obligations?

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