New legislation to put the brakes on heavy vehicle accidents

New legislation to put the brakes on heavy vehicle accidents. How will the change impact you?

New Australian laws will take effect in July 2014 mandating that all new model heavy vehicle trailers be fitted with anti-lock or load proportioning brakes. The Australian Government’s new design rule is expected to save more than 50 lives over the next 30 years on Australia’s roads.

The mandating of Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS) and load proportioning brake systems will be applied to all new model heavy vehicle trailers. The Chief Executive of the Australian Trucking Association, Stuart Clair, said the requirement would help truck drivers retain control of their vehicles in emergency situations.

This change represents the completion of the first phase of the National Heavy Vehicle Braking Strategy, the next phase of which will look at more advanced braking technologies such as Electronic Stability Control.

Other legislative changes for heavy haulage and transport companies

This change comes as the trucking industry navigates the newly introduced Heavy Vehicle National Law. The new single rule book now exists for the heavy vehicle transport industry, which aims to relieve the heavy transport industry of unnecessary red tape improve the safety of road all users. The national law came into effect in February 2014 and applies to all heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes across most of the country.

Operators in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory are now required to adhere to the new national law. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, notes that the key benefits include:

  • reducing paperwork and administration costs for businesses operating across state borders;
  • creating a non-stop-shop for heavy vehicle accreditation and roads access permits; and
  • instituting new work diary arrangements for managing driver fatigue.
  • The Minister expects that the new law will boost the national economy by making it easier for transport industry to do business safely and efficiently.

For more information on these new laws, visit the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

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