Data Must Be Used For Good: NatRoad

Policy changes

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The National Road Transport Association has reiterated its long-held policy position on data at this week’s roundtable of transport industry stakeholders in Canberra, saying the information should be used for road safety improvement and not enforcement.

“NatRoad’s position is clear – transport data needs to be used for the greater good,” said CEO Warren Clark.

“It must drive risk-based regulation and inform governments about safety and road investment decisions while protecting the rights of drivers and operators.

“That balance can be achieved through reforming the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) but that process has crawled to a snail’s pace.

“It’s time to fix that so we can reap the benefits in safety and efficiency that responsible use of data could bring.”

Mr Clark said NatRoad members are reluctant to share data with governments because they are concerned it may be used for enforcement or compliance action.

“That caution is well held. There is a fundamental problem when agencies maintain roles as regulators and administrators of transport systems,” Mr Clark said.

“There are also concerns about inadvertent release of commercial intellectual property and breaching customer privacy.

“Technology and data should drive all heavy vehicle operators to proactively manage transport safety risk.

“It should never be used to increase punitive sanctions, many of which remain outmoded and derived from outdated theories.”

NatRoad’ says governments should not mandate a specific technological solution to ensure the flow of data, particularly in an area as complex as vehicle telematics.

“The answer lies in introducing technology-agnostic laws that permit operators to use digital information to meet performance-based targets,” Mr Clark said.