The National Transport Commission (NTC) is currently reviewing
the duties imposed on parties in the chain of responsibility by the
Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). It has released a
discussion paper that outlines the current HVNL regime, reported
problems with the legislation, and the appropriateness of various
duty types that may improve the operation of the law.
The paper presents four options:
Option 1 involves the inclusion of an
overarching primary duty of care applicable across the entire HVNL
and applying to all parties in the chain. The key feature of a
primary duty is its comprehensive nature. It would require all
parties to consider a wide range of hazards and risks.
Option 2 proposes the inclusion of broad high
level duties within the applicable chapters in the HVNL to ensure
compliance with speed, fatigue, mass, dimension and loading
regulations. A chapter-based duty may also be included in the
vehicles standards chapter.
Option 3 would see the HVNL include additional
specific obligations on parties in the chain to address specific
risks and behaviours. The duties would apply to identified and
defined parties. This approach is similar to the current structure
provided for in the HVNL.
Option 4 is to make no legislative changes to
the current duties regime. Instead, regulators would provide more
guidance and education to industry participants on their compliance
Stakeholder feedback is currently being considered and a report
detailed a preferred approach will be presented to the Transport
and Infrastructure Council meeting in May 2015.
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