The future HVNL should encourage the fleet introduction and use of vehicles that perform to higher safety standards and deliver productivity benefits.

Chapter 10 of the RIS explains the options for reforming vehicle design under the future HVNL.

The future HVNL should also adopt a risk-based approach to maintaining vehicles to ensure roadworthiness and safety over their lives

Chapter 11 of the RIS explains the options to better address roadworthiness.

Summary of issues and options

Improving the timeliness and efficiency of the PBS process


Several key issues have been identified with the current PBS process:

  • The multi-step approval process imposes high compliance costs
  • A high degree of regulatory uncertainty regarding the ability to operate PBS approved heavy vehicles because vehicle approval does not guarantee access.
  • New owners of existing fleets are required to apply for new access permits.


10.1: Streamlined PBS approval process - read in RIS and HVNL 2.0

  • This proposed option provides the opportunity to establish a streamlined, simpler and more flexible PBS framework.

Improving the flexibility and adaptability of the PBS


The PBS scheme does not recognise safety technology such as electronic stability control. Which could be considered when considering compliance with the static rollover requirements.

Heavy vehicles built to European or US width standards cannot be directly imported into Australia. Instead they require manufacturers to design and construct narrower versions that meet Australian width requirements, which delays the availability of these technologies to the Australian market.


10.2: PBS technology standard - read in RIS and HVNL 2.0

  • This option provides for the recognition of technology as an alternative means of complying with certain PBS scheme standards; for example, electronic stability control / anti-rollover technology may allow a vehicle to meet the static rollover standard.

10.3: Increased vehicle width - read in RIS and HVNL 2.0

  • This option establishes fast-tracked PBS approval for heavy vehicles built with safety features (such as side underrun protection, blind-spot sensors, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes) to allow a maximum vehicle width of up to 2.6 metres as-of-right access to the road network.

Improving roadworthiness assessment and defect clearance processes


There are inconsistencies in the way roadworthiness is managed which relate to differences in jurisdictional inspection regimes. Despite recent reforms that have improved the consistency on how and how often such inspections are undertaken there is still significant variation across the country in the nature and frequency of inspections.


11.1: Standardised maintenance / roadworthiness assessment - read in RIS

This option has three key features:

  1. It recognises the National Heavy Vehicle Inspection Manual (NHVIM) in the HVNL in order to increase consistency in the roadside inspection of vehicles.
  2. It amends the HVNL to require the use of self-clearing defects for non-safety cases.
  3. It allows an inspection for a defect clearance to need only to check whether the identified defect has been rectified.

Addressing inconsistencies in inspection regimes


There are inconsistencies in the way roadworthiness is managed across jurisdictions which relate to differences in jurisdictional inspection regimes. The inspection regimes between jurisdictions vary significantly. In many cases, neither the nature nor the frequency of these inspections is affected by the risk posed by the operation of the vehicle concerned.


11.2: Risk-based inspection scheme - read in RIS and HVNL 2.0.