Recently, the Government released a Safer Freight Vehicles Discussion Paper, which sets out possible changes to the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) to assist the increased take up of safer and more efficient heavy freight vehicles.
The federal Government regulates the first supply of vehicles to the Australian market. New road vehicles are required to meet national vehicle standards called ADRs, before they can be offered to the market for use in transport. Once a vehicle is approved and supplied to the Australian market, regulation passes to the relevant state or territory governments or the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator. These authorities are responsible for in-service requirements such as registration, roadworthiness, and vehicle modifications, including upgrades. In-service vehicle standards rules/regulations require, as a general principle, that vehicles continue to comply with the ADRs. Therefore, the ADRs are important rules.
The Discussion Paper includes options for:
- vehicles with enhanced devices for indirect vision and/or monitoring devices
- wider vehicles meeting additional safety requirements, a matter that NatRoad has pressed during the current review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law; and
- vehicles with more efficient and/or productive axle configurations.