The Queensland move towards joining the national regulations came a little closer after the State passed the proposed amendments to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).
The amendments were passed on Valentine’s Day through the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill which includes a few matters of significance that were not in the Heavy Vehicle National Law that was passed late last year.
An article at http://www.supplychainreview.com.au/ goes into detail about what the Bill means for the sector:
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese labelled the Bill’s passage “a watershed moment for Australia’s transport sector”.
“The heavy vehicle sector is the lifeblood of our economy and streamlining the laws and regulations that govern this sector will cut red tape, reduce costs, improve safety and enhance efficiency,” he says.
The Bill’s passage implements the new penalty framework in Queensland. Fines for fatigue management offences will increase significantly, with the changes to apply in other jurisdictions on July 1.
Courts will be able to fine drivers $4,000 for minor breaches of standard hours and basic fatigue management (BFM) – an increase of $2,350.
The maximum penalty for substantial breaches has gone from $2,700 to $6,000, while those done for severe breaches of standard hours, BFM or advanced fatigue management can be fined $10,000 fine. Previously, the figure was capped at $4,950. The penalty for a critical offence has risen by more than $8,000 to $15,000.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads says 174 court imposed penalties will rise, while 149 will decrease. The number of infringement penalties will fall by 132, while 39 will increase in value.
“One of the most important things that this Bill does is create nationally consistent maximum penalties for all offences relating to heavy vehicles,” Queensland Opposition spokeswoman on transport Jackie Trad says.
“Some penalties in Queensland will rise and some will fall. This is the same for every other jurisdiction.”
Trad says the new penalties will be reviewed in 2014 to ensure they “are effective and fair”.
Fatigue management is a serious responsibility and it lies with everyone within the supply chain.
With national laws that help to regulate this important condition lets hope that we see further reductions in accidents and fatalities on the roads that involve heavy vehicles.