The National Road Transport Association says it’s optimistic that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is committed to moving away from prescriptive offences, as signalled in its the “Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy 2021-2025” released this week.
The strategy’s action plan includes updating the National Compliance and Enforcement Strategy and focussing on “risk-targeted” enforcements rather than prescriptive fines.
NatRoad CEO Warren Clark says he’s “quietly hopeful” the regulator’s words will translate into actions.
“We’ve been long-time critics of the tendency to apply fines to minor and obviously accidental offences like not drawing a straight line in a work diary,” Mr Clark said.
“The overriding principle should be that punishment is in proportion to risk.
“We’re all for appropriate penalties for operators pushing the envelope on safety, but having poor handwriting or forgetting to sign a page should not be a hanging offence.
“Getting fined for minor diary offences doesn’t add to safety and means that it’s even more difficult for the industry to retain drivers.
“NatRoad would like to an immediate review of all Heavy Vehicle National Law prescriptive offences.
“We also want the brakes to go on for CPI annual increases in prescriptive offence amounts.”