2021 NatRoad Conference

Government Seeks Feedback on Heavy Vehicle Technical Changes

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.

At present, NatRoad is working with other associations in order to get a consolidated industry view on these possible changes. Member feedback on the Discussion Paper is encouraged. Submissions to Government close on 30 June 2021 but comments to NatRoad by the last week of May 2021 would be valued. Member feedback can be sent to info@natroad.com.au