NTC Seeks Further Feedback On Proposed HVNL Reforms

NTC launches survey targeted at heavy vehicle operators to help inform key proposed policy changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has launched a survey seeking further information from heavy vehicle operators to complement the data it received from formal submissions to the consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (C-RIS) released in October on proposed changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

The C-RIS sought industry input on three key areas of policy under consideration by the HVNL review: fatigue management; vehicle mass and dimension limits; and national audit standards for operator accreditation. See here for more details.

In particular, the C-RIS explored simplifying record-keeping in the law and ways to achieve more balanced enforcement. The supplementary survey further explores the key assumptions and options outlined in the C-RIS, including time spent on written and electronic work diaries.

The survey also seeks feedback on what fatigue enforcement options operators believe will deliver a fairer regulatory approach, including:

  • Limiting the timeframe for issuing a work and rest breach infringements;
  • Introducing a risk-based approach to enforcement;
  • Enabling a review of fines for ‘trifling’ work diary offences;
  • Providing drivers with an opportunity to challenge fines for minor administrative errors;
  • Giving authorised officers broader abilities to issue formal warnings rather than fines; and
  • Providing the option for formal education to be issued by authorised officers instead of traditional compliance practices.

Additionally, the survey seeks feedback regarding proposals to increase length limits for general access vehicles from 19m to 20m; and lifting height limits for general access vehicles from 4.3m to 4.6m.

The NTC says survey responses will inform further analysis of the relative costs and benefits of options in the next-stage Decision Regulatory Impact Statement (D-RIS), which is set to go to relevant Ministers in December 2024.

The survey closes January 31, 2024. The survey can be accessed here.

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