The primary purpose of the HVNL is to ensure a safe and efficient heavy vehicle journey. This is made of a safe driver, a safe vehicle and a suitable route.

This topic and issues paper covers all the requirements that relate to a safe vehicle. It uses the risk-based approach outlined in the first issues paper to identify problems with the current law and the high-level principles that a revised law should consider.

There will be future opportunities to tell us about the specifics of accreditation, compliance and technology and other matters.

Vehicle standards and safety

The primary goal of regulating vehicle standards is to ensure vehicles used on public roads are safe, for the driver and other road users.

The HVNL requires heavy vehicles that are used on the roads to meet standards; and not be unsafe.

The HVNL works together with other legal instruments to make sure vehicles are safe and roadworthy. These include:

  • The Motor Vehicles Standards Act 1989
  • Australian Design Rules (ADRs)
  • State and territory laws

Problems with vehicle standards and safety under the HVNL

Through consultation with industry, regulators, jurisdictions (participating and non-participating), the NTC understands that some of the key issues with the HVNL are that:

  • Safer PBS vehicles face administrative barriers
  • There are barriers to advanced safety technology
  • Inspection requirements and enforcement approaches vary
  • Detecting unsafe and non-compliant vehicles is not easy
  • Risks of repairs, replacement parts and modifications
  • Defect clearance can be costly and time-consuming

What we heard

Government, regulators, drivers, operators, industry bodies, and members of the public have provided detailed and constructive submissions. Read what we heard on vehicle standards and safety.