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NHVR releases 2023 Safety Strategy Action Plan

07 June 2023

3 min read

#Transport, Shipping & Logistics

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NHVR releases 2023 Safety Strategy Action Plan

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has recently released its 2023 Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy Action Plan which sets out their key safety priorities and targets for the next 12 months as part of achieving its overall Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy 2021-2025.

Key target areas

The NHVR has established five key target areas and its deliverables in their action plan:

1. Delivering safer and tailored fatigue risk management outcomes:

  • publish pre-approved Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) work and rest schedules
  • streamline and digitise the AFM application process
  • recognise the use of Fatigue and Distraction Detection Technology for operators in AFM
  • work with industry to identify and share fatigue safety insights and trends.

2. Empowering industry to better manage safety in their business:

  • share compliance defect information to industry operators through the NHVR portal to help industry self-manage their safety and compliance activities
  • work with industry and enforcement agencies on early identification of risks
  • develop targeted regulatory advice to assist industry to comply with the HVNL, including advice for operating in the agricultural sector, preparation of livestock, vehicle stability and maintenance.

3. Delivering tailored regulatory interventions to drive positive safety change:

  • undertake data sharing and increased engagement activities with enforcement agencies and regulatory partners to deliver a more consistent regulatory approach
  • develop a national Risk Based Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme.

4. Influencing the regulatory framework to promote the adoption of safer, cleaner, and more efficient vehicles and technologies:

  • continue to work with industry and governments on the regulatory framework of Euro VI and alternative fuel vehicles, including supporting  mass concessions
  • implement increased width and other recommendations from the Commonwealth Safer Freight Vehicle reforms
  • start delivering a reformed Performance Based Standards (PBS) 2.0 to encourage safer vehicle uptake automate
  • PBS vehicle applications in the NHVR Portal.

5. Providing input into government policy decisions that affect the safety and productivity of the heavy vehicle industry:

  • deliver an online information hub to provide relevant advice and guidance to local governments in their role as road managers
  • deliver a single enforceable heavy vehicle network map to better support industry in planning safe and compliant journeys
  • release the first stage of the Asset Rapid Assessment Tool (ARAT) in the NHVR Portal that allows road managers to complete automatic bridge assessments resulting in more efficient and safe access decisions
  • use data from the NHVR Portal to support informed investments in infrastructure including fatigue rest areas.

The ever-increasing level of engagement and sharing of information and awareness resources with industry should be applauded and it is very pleasing to see this set to continue throughout 2023.

Further, industry is likely to welcome the multiple efforts to streamline various NHVR and heavy vehicle processes, such as PBS approval and route permits.

It is also pleasing to see that greater flexibility in fatigue management will likely continue into the future. Various stakeholders and industry representative bodies have noted that rigid ‘one size fits all’ fatigue practices are not necessarily delivering the safer outcomes sought.

Finally, it is promising and very ‘of the moment’ that the NHVR is already looking at ways to increase the uptake of alternative fuel vehicles, including offering supporting mass concessions for such vehicles. One of the best ways to encourage the uptake of such vehicle use (or indeed, many safety practices) is to incentivise their use and create easier access to businesses.

If you would like more information on the 2023 Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy Action Plan or have any questions, please get in touch with partner Nathan Cecil or a member of our Transport, Shipping & Logistics team below.

  • This article was originally published in CoR Adviser. The article is © 2023 Portner Press Publishing Pty Ltd and has been reproduced with permission of Portner Press.

The information in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

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