Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) have welcomed the publication of the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) discussion paper “Assessing the effectiveness of the PBS scheme.”
HVIA Chief Executive Brett Wright says the report demonstrates the effectiveness of the Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme in improving industry productivity and safety.
“The data presented in the paper is testimony to the benefits of the innovative design and engineering that make PBS vehicles the flagships of the heavy vehicle fleet.
“However, the report also identifies a number of barriers to the take up of PBS vehicles that need to be addressed,” Mr Wright said.
Mr Wright observed that while the overall safety performance of the PBS fleet is good, the report observes that the safety results for some truck and dog combinations is slightly worse than conventional rigid combinations.
“This discrepancy may be due to the current PBS standards which allow older vehicles, without modern braking technology, to be approved in PBS combinations.
“The report also notes that the current PBS standards do not include ABS/EBS braking systems and roll over protection in the deemed to comply provisions and that this presents a barrier to innovation.”
Mr Wright called on the NHVR to address this anomaly by implementing the PBS Braking Policy which HVIA recommended to the NHVR last year.
HVIA’s submission highlighted that the ability to use trucks and trailers of any age with only load-sensing brake technology is a concern in any PBS application, but particularly heavy truck and dog combinations.
“It is critical that PBS vehicles set a high minimum level of dynamic safety performance,” Mr Wright added.
“This is an important interim measure that can be implemented immediately while the PBS standards are being reviewed.”
“It is important that we ensure that all PBS vehicles live up to the high safety standards expected by the community.”
Key recommendations in the NTC discussion paper include reducing the complexity of the PBS system, improving certainty around access, and improving customer satisfaction with the approval process.
NTC is planning to make recommendations to Transport Minister in May 2018 and is looking for comments and feedback on the report. Once approved by Ministers NTC has committed to working with the NHVR, road managers and industry to develop an implementation plan.
“HVIA is keen to work with the NTC and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to address the issues identified in the report,” Mr Wright said.
“To ensure industry is able to contribute effectively to the development of NTC’s recommendations to Ministers, HVIA has organised a series of free industry forums across the country over the coming month.
“These forums will provide industry with an opportunity to hear directly from the NTC project manager about the report and its key findings, and to hear from the NHVR about its forward work program for PBS.
“While the forums provide an invaluable opportunity to hear from the policy makers and regulators, their timing has been set specifically for industry to provide its views back to the NTC before comments close.”