Any changes to the heavy vehicle roadworthiness system must lead to uniform roadworthiness rules and enforcement, the ATA has said in this submission in response to the National Transport Commission heavy vehicle roadworthiness consultation RIS.
The trucking industry is strongly in favour of nationally uniform enforcement, including standard rules for vehicle inspections and defect assessments.
The current roadworthiness rules are sometimes applied haphazardly or wrongly at the roadside. Clear, nationally accepted rules need to be established for declaring a vehicle roadworthy, and for issuing and clearing minor and major defect notices. There must be consistent national training for enforcement officers.
The submission also says the chain of responsibility concept should be extended to vehicle roadworthiness, as previously recommended by the ATA, and that governments should not make any changes to periodic scheduled inspections without more evidence.
At present, some states require every truck to be inspected every year, regardless of their risk profile. Other states do not.
The submission recommends that governments should fund a major case-control study to provide more information about the links between vehicle inspections, vehicle roadworthiness and accidents, to inform future decisions about the effectiveness of these inspections.