HVIA cautiously optimistic towards PBS 2.0

The PBS scheme should be better used as a mechanism for promoting the uptake of safer high-productivity vehicles according to HVIA.

The comments form part of HVIA’s submission responding to the NHVR’s Performance Based Standards (PBS) 2.0 discussion paper, and follow extensive consultation with HVIA members and stakeholders.

In HVIA’s view PBS 1.0 was successful in sparking innovative approaches to vehicle designs but was less effective at opening access for those vehicles. To be successful, PBS 2.0 needs to tackle this issue.

HVIA has expressed a determination to work closely with the NHVR and road managers towards achieving the scheme’s full potential.

The Key Points made in HVIA’s submission are:

  • The lack of commitment to the original principles of the PBS scheme from Road Managers was the greatest weakness in PBS 1.0. The discussion paper is a missed opportunity to address this and needs to take a stronger stance on:
    • ensuring that PBS vehicles have the same access to the road system as their prescriptive counterparts under PBS 2.0;
    • Ensure road managers are held responsible for speeding up access decisions and improving productivity by opening up access. Improving access is the best way to facilitate productivity and the flow of benefits to the community.
  • HVIA supports the NHVR board and Ministers having greater flexibility to quickly fine tune the standards and assessment rules (with suitable consultation with industry) including:
    • Accelerated updates to standards which may be initiated by either regulators or industry.
    • The use of interim standards to test new technologies.
  • Simplification of administration of PBS and reduction of the compliance costs imposed on industry is vital. This includes:
    • Using Automation to streamline PBS processes, particularly around access approvals.
    • Ensuring consistency and integrity of the process.
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