The National Heavy Vehicles Regulator (NHVR) is conducting a survey of approximately 9000 trucks including rigid, articulated, B-doubles and road trains, as well as buses and plant equipment in order to measure Australia’s current industry standards.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says, “For the first time in Australia we’ll be conducting a national survey of heavy vehicle roadworthiness using trained inspectors to father consistent safety information.” Currently each state collects its own information, “which means the roadworthiness of heavy vehicles nationally is unclear,” Petroccitto said. “It’s a fundamental roadblock to to understanding safety of the fleet and achieving national consistency.”
The inspections are expected to take 45 minutes at checkpoints and depots, scheduled between August and September this year, and industry and government groups will be consulted about the potential impacts as a result of the survey. The National Roadworthy Baseline Survey will use the upcoming National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual Version 2.1, available July 1st, to structure the inspections. The manual’s aim is to increase preventative safety awareness and measures with operators acorss their heavy vehicle fleets.
Australian Trucking Association (ATA) CEO Christopher Melham supports the new inspection manual, saying “With a single set of uniform standards to work from, trucking operators can avoid the frustration of enforcement officers applying different standards in different states and territories.”
However, ATA policy manager Bill McKinley said, “Enforcement officers conducting the inspections will need to be trained to apply the inspection standards consistently before the survey commences.”
WA and NT are yet to adopt the new 98-page manual, while Tasmania, SA and ACT did so in March.