NTC Seeks Industry Feedback On HVNL Penalties Review

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is seeking input from key industry stakeholders to identify offences under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) for priority assessment of infringement classification and associated penalty amounts and demerit points.

As part of its work to deliver an HVNL amendment bill to Ministers by the end of 2024, the HVNL Penalties Project is assessing all penalty amounts and demerit point amounts for every offence under the HVNL as well as all lower-order prosecution offences to determine whether reclassification for infringement is appropriate.

The project includes a two-phased assessment process, starting first with “priority offences for assessment”, followed by “every other offence”.

The NTC says the approach reflects its expectation that some offences – the “priority offences”, will require longer periods for consideration, assessment, discussion, and final decision.

To assist in determining which offences should be categorised, the Commission is asking key industry stakeholder to examine:

• Disproportionality: Which offences involve penalty amounts that are disproportionately significant compared to the impact of a breach.

• Consistency: Which offences involve penalty amounts that are irrationally inconsistent with other similar offences (in HVNL or non-HVNL settings).

• Deterrence: Which offences involve penalty amounts that should be increased to create a sufficient deterrent.

In a Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (C-RIS) released in early October the NTC explored options to deliver a fairer regulatory approach, including:

  • Limiting the timeframe for issuing 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.

The NTC is asking industry stakeholders to provide input by completing a feedback sheet available here. Please note that columns H and I feature a dropdown menu of choices.

Feedback should be emailed to Jacqueline Dahl-Speck at jdahl-speck@ntc.gov.au by close of business Tuesday, March 5, 2024.

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