News

More changes to the national laws for heavy vehicles

23.06.2015

Changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law have been introduced by the Queensland Government that will apply to heavy vehicle operators in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. The changes will impact on the operation of electronic diaries and increase and harmonise certain penalties under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. Moulis Legal’s Christopher Hewitt and Macky Markar provide a summary of the changes.

Heavy Vehicle National Law

The Heavy Vehicle National Law commenced on 10 February 2014 and applies in all Australian States and Territories expect for Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The Heavy Vehicle National Law applies to all vehicles over 4.5 tonnes (gross vehicle mass) and provides overarching rules and regulations for the operation of heavy vehicles in the relevant jurisdictions. Some matters relating to the operation and management of heavy vehicles are not included in the Heavy Vehicle National Law, such as licencing, registration and the carriage of dangerous goods.

The changes

The changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law are set out in the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015 (Qld) that has been presented to the Queensland Parliament. The changes will not come into effect until they have been passed by the Queensland Parliament.

Once these changes are passed by the Queensland Parliament they will automatically apply in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. South Australia will implement equivalent amendments that will reflect the Queensland amendments to maintain national consistency.

The changes to the Heavy Vehicle National Law will:

  • clarify provisions relating to the use of electronic work diaries to assist in the implementation of the approval and monitoring regime; and
  • increase and harmonise certain penalties throughout the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The changes to the penalty provisions:

Offence Penalty
A person must not contravene a vehicle standards exemption. Increase from $3000 to $4000
A scheduler must not cause a driver to drive over the speed limit. Increase from $4000 to $6000
A consignor must not make a demand that may result in driver exceeding the speed limit. Increase from $6000 to $10000
A scheduler must ensure the driver’s schedule will not cause the driver to drive while fatigued. Increase from $6000 to $10000
A person must not use a heavy vehicle on a road in contravention of a vehicle defect notice. Increase from $3000 to $6000
A restricted access vehicle must not be used on a road (unless the vehicle is permitted under a mass or dimension authority to use the road). A vehicle is considered a restricted access vehicle if it is either; higher than 4.3m, wider than 2.5m or longer than 12.5m. Penalty of $6000

Moulis Legal’s petroleum law team advises Australian and international businesses on downstream petroleum issues, including production, trade and sales, transport and distribution, regulatory compliance, land contamination, and the management and transfer of petroleum assets. For more information, please contact Christopher Hewitt or Lauren Gray on +61 7 3367 6900 or christopher.hewitt@moulislegal.com  and lauren.gray@moulislegal.com.

 

This memo presents an overview and commentary of the subject matter. It is not provided in the context of a solicitor-client relationship and no duty of care is assumed or accepted. It does not constitute legal advice