The Chain of Responsibility and Heavy Vehicle Safety Conference, supported by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Association (CILTA), will be taking place on December 3-4. This discussion comes at the end of the year during which the National Heavy Vehicle Law rolled out, with changes in standards, fatigue management and chain of responsibility.
This was also the year of confusion from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the aftermath of serious truck crashes in NSW attracting a crackdown, some serious fines and a jail sentence.
One of the speakers will be Inspector Phillip Brooks, the Heavy Vehicle Operations Manager for the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, NSW Police Force, which coordinates the ‘Joint Heavy Vehicle Taskforce’ relationship with the NSW Roads & Maritime Services.
“There is great demand across the industry at present, where our focus will be on compliance for the benefit of road safety,” said Brooks. “Maintenance standards appear to be poor, with high frequency vehicles and trailers often detected with major defects. This suggests that regimes are being bypassed.
“Whilst speed tampering has a focus, there are still those that continue to be detected which would indicate that there is some tolerance of this practice within the industry. Recent Court actions against companies & drivers also reflect this position.”
Brooks will be giving a joint presentation with Paul Endycott, General Manager Compliance Operations Branch, NSW Roads and Maritime Services at the Conference.
”Our joint enforcement approach has continued to deliver compliance benefits across some industry sectors,” said Endycott. “There is now an opportunity to reach out even further for the benefit of road safety for all road users. Our recent effort in public passenger buses reflects this position.”
A further representative from the NSW compliance will be Peter Wells, Customer, Compliance and Public Safety functions for NSW RMS.
“The new COR rules are important for Australia, it is efficient law that allows businesses to respond in ways that suit their operation,” said Wells. “Over time this will lead to safer and more productive road freight movements. While there is a long way to go, I think there are signs of improvements that are very encouraging.
“The big gap we see is that there must actually be ‘reasonable steps’ in place to prevent breaches of Road Transport law. We often find this is not sufficiently covered or is not in place at all.
“Actual COR implementation, to make sure people are taking up COR within their organisations. Also the use of subcontractors and the dilution of supervision and management control, these contractors are effectively acting on behalf of the parent organisation and there can be subcontracting down 2 or 3 levels below the parent organisation with limited or nil oversight.”
Also on the agenda at the COR & Heavy Vehicle Safety Conference is Ian Ross from Origin Energy. As well as Ray Hassall from NHVR who will be discussing chain of responsibility compliance and vehicle standards regulation at the conference.
“Attracting and retaining skilled staff, integrating technology into operations, efficiently and effectively managing compliance,” said Hassall. “At the moment there is a clear focus on vehicle maintenance. The challenge will be to ensure this critical area is seen, and is seen by the community, to be properly managed.”
The Conference will run on December 3-4 at the Pullman Grand Quay Hotel in Sydney.