Calls for consistency for safety's sake
A new report published by the Federal Government’s National Transport Commission (NTC) says a consistent set of road rules and vehicle standards across the country could improve road safety.
The draft evaluation report titled ‘Review of the Australian Road Rules and Vehicle Standards Rules’ was released late last week, no several authorities in the logistics, infrastructure and safety sectors say a national approach could be greatly beneficial.
The major recommendation from the draft evaluation report is to move from the current ‘model law’ approach (a guide for states and territories to create their own laws) to an ‘applied law’ approach, which could see any road law enacted in one state adopted in the jurisdictions of others.
The Australian Logistics Council has confirmed its support, ALC Managing Director Michel Kilgariff says: “I am pleased the NTC has recognised the potential safety benefits of having nationally consistent road rules through an applied law approach which would improve efficiency and safety in the heavy vehicle industry... unnecessary red tape imposed on the freight logistics industry hinders its efforts to improve efficiency, boost productivity and enhance safety.”
NTC CEO and Commissioner Paul Retter said while the current system does work, applied laws can be more easily rolled out across states and territories.
“While the model law approach has produced generally good outcomes, it has led to the inconsistent implementation of some rules because of variations made by states and territories, and different periods of time taken to introduce new or updated rules” Mr Retter said, “This affects the efficiency and safety of our transport system... we are now seeking more information on the costs and benefits of moving to an applied law approach, in order to prepare a detailed cost-benefit analysis for ministers to consider.”
The NTC is now seeking feedback on the recommendations contained in the Draft Evaluation Report, until submissions close on 2 September 2013. Submissions received will be used to inform the final recommendations to be submitted to ministers from the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure in late 2013.