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South Australia secures national commitment on heavy vehicle safety

25 May 2015

South Australia has secured a commitment by federal, state and territory transport ministers to fast-track the introduction of new roadworthiness laws for heavy vehicles.

The raised proposal to prioritise the strengthening of chain of responsibility laws at the May 25 -Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting in Sydney.

The proposed laws will extend the chain of responsibility to all responsible for the roadworthiness of vehicles and will ensure appropriate penalties are applied.

The National Transport Commission is now commencing draft legislation. It is important that every individual along the supply chain ensures that vehicles are maintained and roadworthy before they go out on our roads.

Chain of responsibility laws currently only apply to speed management, fatigue, vehicle mass, vehicle dimensions and load restraint.

Extending this regime to heavy vehicle standards and roadworthiness will make our roads safer and will hopefully reduce the number of crashes involving heavy vehicles.

When it comes to heavy vehicles, there is little room for error. If trucks are un-roadworthy the consequences can be horrific. By ensuring heavy vehicles are roadworthy, it can reduce the likelihood and severity of these crashes.

The announcement sends a very clear message to trucking companies across Australia – once introduced we will be able to pursue everyone from the heavy vehicle operator right up to the company’s directors and CEO.

It will ensure companies are held responsible if they are involved in an incident which they could have taken steps to avoid.

Recent incidents on the South Eastern Freeway involving un-roadworthy trucks had highlighted the need for stronger heavy vehicle compliance measures across the country.

Making sure interstate vehicles using South Australian roads are roadworthy is one of South Australia’s highest priorities.

The Executive Director of the SA Road Transport Association, Steve Shearer, has welcomed the initiative.

The work and commitment leading this discussion with ministers and securing the decision to extend chain of responsibility laws to roadworthiness of heavy vehicles.

It is a critical step in enabling the industry and the authorities to deal effectively with the minority of operators and clients who fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that their trucks are roadworthy.

The government understands and agrees with our position when we proposed to him that chain of responsibility laws must apply to roadworthiness if we are to eradicate un-roadworthy trucks.

Image of Heavy Vehicle Truck