The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and heavy vehicle industry will establish an accreditation working group to respond to a comprehensive report into reforming truck accreditation schemes. Options for reform of and analysis of Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Schemes in Australia were laid out by consultant Peter Medlock in a report published earlier this year.
This week the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator are promising improved targeting by law enforcement of compliance activities as a result of the National Compliance and Enforcement Policy, published earlier in the week.
When looking at the Performance Based Standards scheme it is clear there are detailed changes to be made. Amendments to the scheme are needed just in terms of the time which has elapsed since the initial structure was laid out. Technical changes like the widespread adoption of stability systems along with EBS across many more trucks means some of the stability parameters called for in the standards can be met electronically and not physically by the design of the truck.
It is a no brainer to say PBS vehicles are more productive than comparable conventionally designed vehicles, this is one of those facts which seems to get lost in the other arguments around the whole scheme. Overall, 7,000 vehicles have been approved.
One of the contentious issues for the operators of Performance Based Standards trucks has been tyre choice. As a result, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is looking for a rubber solution and is appointing independent road safety expert, Dr John de Pont, to lead a review of PBS tyre standards and operations.
Former NSW Roads and Maritime Services Minister Duncan Gay has been appointed as the new NHVR Chair. The current Chair at the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Bruce Baird, is retiring next month.
The access issues which have dogged the Performance Based Standards scheme and permits for larger trucks or over size and over mass may see a road assessment breakthrough if a new joint initiative from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the Australian Road Research Board proves effective.
An event in Forbes NSW will see the first outing for a B-quad, when the newly approved combination will be on demonstration as part of the Forbes Harvest Field Day and PBS Vehicle Demonstration. This will be a chance to see an array of the innovative combinations possible under the Performance Based Standards scheme.
Reading the news about a confidential hotline where truck drivers and supply chain workers can call a hotline to report potential safety breaches left me in quandary, to dob or not to dob, that is the question. The announcement this week by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator sees a confidential 1800 number being set up for concerned people in the supply chain to raise concerns.