Speeding Rule Changes Proposed

Rule changes are to come under consideration in an attempt to increase the pressure on truck drivers to reduce speed related crashes. The National Transport Commission is asking for submissions from stakeholders in response to a discussion paper, on the matter, published this week.

“Speed is still a major cause of heavy vehicle crashes and while the majority of drivers do the right thing, we need to ensure there are effective deterrents for the few who are determined to break the law,” said Paul Retter, NTC CEO. “We also need to keep making sure off-road parties are held to account for anyone putting any undue pressure on drivers to speed.

“For these reasons, a number of our stakeholders have asked the NTC to find out if there are further ways that the National Heavy Vehicle National Law can work to deter heavy vehicle drivers from speeding.”

The NTC said it is seeking feedback on two potential amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law:

  1. An evidentiary provision that deems a speed limiter non-compliant if a vehicle is detected travelling at or above 115 kilometres per hour.
  2. A power to immediately ground heavy vehicles travelling 15 kilometres per hour or more over posted or default speed limits.

Under the first proposal, evidence of a heavy vehicle speeding at or above 115 km/h will be taken as proof that a speed limiter is non-compliant, and in breach of vehicle standard requirements. Incidentally, a similar provision is already in place in NSW.

“Currently, it is technically challenging for enforcement officers to demonstrate a speed limiter is defective, and this proposal would make it easier to prosecute those who break the law,” said Retter.

The second proposal would give the power for enforcement officers to temporarily stop heavy vehicles from driving if they are detected travelling at 15 km/h over the speed limit. According to the NTC, this aims to ensure both the driver and off-road parties are held appropriately responsible for speeding significantly above the limit.

Further details on the proposals are available within the Enforcement Approaches for Speeding Heavy Vehicles Discussion Paper on the NTC website. Submissions are open until June 24 and can be made through the NTC’s website.