Grain Scheme, Master Code and Autonomous Rules

There have been announcements about a Grain Scheme, Master Code and Autonomous Rules this week, read about them on Diesel News.

The Victorian Transport Association has welcomed the establishment of the state’s first Grain Harvest Management Scheme, which will provide a productivity and safety boon for farmers and grain transport workers.

The scheme will allow heavy vehicles to increase their load by five per cent during the grain harvest season from October 1 to April 30 2018, when delivering grain to receivers who are also participating in the scheme.

“As an industry group, we welcome the scheme and the positive outcomes it will inevitably create for operator safety and productivity,” said Peter Anderson, VTA CEO. “Provisions made for bigger loads mean fewer trips for operators, which will improve their profit and safety margins.”

 Development of an industry master code of practice for heavy vehicle safety is progressing well with the project receiving $200,000 of Commonwealth Government funding assistance under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program.

“Led by the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the master code will help adopters to identify, assess and mitigate risks to meet their obligations under the national law and improve safety,” said Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO. “I encourage industry to be involved in the consultation workshops being conducted by ALC and ATA to develop this code which will deliver significant heavy vehicle safety benefits.”

ALC and ATA have established a company called Safe Trucking and Supply Chains Limited to develop the code of practice. 

Autonomous Rules Feedback

The National Transport Commission (NTC) is asking road transport agencies, police, and industry to provide input on how Australian governments should amend driver laws to facilitate the introduction of automated vehicles.

The NTC released a discussion paper ‘Changing driving laws to support automated vehicles which seeks to clarify how current driver and driving laws apply to automated vehicles and who would be legally responsible for their operation.

“The introduction of more automated vehicles will see elements of the driving task shift away from the human driver to the automated driving system but our laws currently don’t recognise these systems,” said Paul Retter, NTC CEO. “We need to ensure that relevant driving laws apply to automated vehicles when the automated driving system—rather than the human driver—is operating the vehicle.”

This work is one of seven projects—five of which are being led by the NTC and a further two led by the states/territories but for which the NTC is coordinating the findings and subsequent ministerial recommendations. These projects were approved by ministers in November 2016 as part of the NTC’s roadmap of reform to support the commercial deployment of automated vehicles.