On 10 February 2014, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)
introduced the Heavy Vehicle National Law 2012 (HVNL) into
the ACT, NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.
One year on, it's a good time to reflect on the impact HVNL has
had on safety outcomes in the transport industry.
The HVNL contains the concept of "chain of
responsibility" (CoR), which in simple terms, recognises that
the actions of all parties in the supply chain (including off-road
parties) can affect the conduct of heavy vehicle drivers, and
consequently, road safety. Liability in the CoR involves mass,
dimension and loading requirements, speed compliance and also
Although the concept of CoR is not new, its introduction into
heavy vehicle regulation has resulted in greater transparency of
each party's duties and has improved public safety and
compliance on Australian roads.
A recent prosecution in NSW has highlighted how the various
roles of all the parties in the CoR and their effect on road safety
– are more closely scrutinised under the new laws. In this
case, a transport operator and its director were convicted and
fined $236,721 (exclusive of costs), for 235 breaches of heavy
vehicle fatigue laws. This included offences relating to unlawful
schedules for drivers transporting goods through NSW, SA and
Further benefits introduced by the national scheme include the
removal of the red tape and duplication caused by the overlap of
previous state laws and the introduction of maximum penalties for
all heavy vehicle offences.
If your business consigns, packs, loads, transports or receives
goods, you will have duties under the HVNL. All parties in the CoR
must comply and are subject to enforcement action when a breach
occurs. By now, your business should have comprehensive systems and
measures in place to ensure that your activities comply with the
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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After some delay, Australia's aviation safety regulator, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority , has announced the approval of new rules governing the operation of remotely piloted aircraft in Australia.
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