The review of the HVNL will be a focus in 2020.
The review of the HVNL will be a focus in 2020.

NHVR boss shares his hopes for new decade

HAPPY New Year to Big Rigs readers! What a great time to look ahead to what 2020 has in store.

The continued emergence of new technology and the ongoing reform to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) present two of the biggest opportunities for the NHVR in the year ahead.

Over the past year, we have played an growing role in supporting the use of the myriad of new safety technology being incorporated across our industry.

The good news is that it’s having a significant benefit on heavy vehicle safety and productivity. Whether you utilise fatigue detection, cleaner-energy vehicles or simply make use of the increasingly detailed data on offer across the industry, improved technology is improving the industry.

I’m constantly amazed by the heavy vehicle industry’s ability to embrace new ideas and look for safer, more productive ways to undertake the freight task.

Technology is largely driven by industry and manufacturers meeting operator needs. As a regulator we’ll continue to encourage uptake and where possible provide incentives.

The other major priority for 2020 will be the work being undertaken by the National Transport Commission to review the HVNL.

The review is the result of the almost universal agreement that the original law, drafted at the start of last decade needs updating.

Over the past six months we have seen a number of good ideas put forward by industry, operators and jurisdictions to meet the challenges presented under the current law.

For example it is clear that more flexibility is required for work and rest hours, and that compliance and enforcement efforts should be focused towards those that present the greatest safety risks.

Reducing inconsistencies between jurisdictions and better resources for identifying access routes are other areas that are regularly discussed.

While discussions and recommendations around reforms to fatigue, access and many other sections of the laws will be robust, I’m keen to work with industry and governments to identify areas where reform can occur sooner rather than later.

Where there is general agreement on some of these more obvious reforms I’d like to see those benefits available to operators as soon as possible.

I’m looking forward to another big year and look forward to crossing paths at heavy vehicle events or on the roadside at one of our Truckie Info Days.