– By Rob Wilson –
The National Transport Commission (NTC) and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) are collaborating on a project to identify the most effective way to use accreditation, inspections and other mechanisms to improve the roadworthiness of heavy vehicles on Australian roads. The outcomes of this review may well affect how fleet managers plan, undertake and document their heavy vehicle maintenance in the future.
The process to date has included; a review of current practice in roadworthiness, an integrity review of the national heavy vehicle roadworthiness system and the publication of a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS).
The RIS was released in January 2015 and discusses four options packages for reform ranging from the continuation of current programs to various amalgams of inspection, education, accreditation and the inclusion of duties under Chain of Responsibility.
Options being considered include a risk-based approach to inspection, for example targeting older vehicles or those carrying dangerous goods, or alternatively mandating scheduled inspections for all heavy vehicles at prescribed intervals. Other options include requiring elements of maintenance accreditation for certain operators.
Potential changes to Chain of Responsibility (COR) duties should be of particular interest to management and executives operating fleets. Options being considered include introducing COR duties for particular responsible parties to ensure they have taken all reasonable steps to maintain vehicles in a roadworthy condition.
A brief on progress was provided to the Transport and Infrastructure Council at its 22 May 2015 meeting. It was agreed to bring forward consideration of a package of measures to improve national consistency and compliance for decision in November 2015.
On-going developments and the November outcome will certainly be worth watching.
Rob Wilson is an experienced Fleet Manager and Director of fleet consultancy company 4C MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS