New Load Restraint Guides Endorsed17 January 2018
Updates to the national Load Restraint Guides have been endorsed by Australia’s state, territory and commonwealth transport ministers, with leaders confirming the implementation of the former recommendations. Ministers have also supported the introduction of laws which would make non-compliance with safety documents an offence.
Although the National Transport Commission (NTC) proposed maintaining the 2004 guide’s load restraint performance standards for heavy vehicles, they also pushed to increase the forward restraint standard for vehicles under two tonnes.
NTC chief executive Paul Retter said the updated guides will be released in early 2018, and more practical than the previous version. Considered, direct language, as well as clear diagrams, were a focus of the guides’ presentation.
“Given the last edition was published in 2004, it was crucial that we updated the guide to better cover the range of loads, vehicles and restraint equipment in use today. The update will contribute to increased safety and efficiency on our roads,” Mr. Retter said.
He also noted that the Load Restraint Guide for Light Vehicles is the first of its type, and will ensure much clearer directions are available for restraining loads on smaller vehicles. Proposals will be adopted which ensure that non – compliance with performance standards will also be an offence, he said.
The Heavy Vehicle National Law is likely to be similarly amended to reference the updated guide.
Encouraging the Role of Technology
Further, the NTC has announced a review of the regulatory use of telematics in the transport sector. Telematics monitor work hours, vehicle mass, speeds and other factors, can boost productivity, safety and make it easier to share data between vehicles, drivers, operators and third parties.
The NTC will be looking to encourage use of the technology and educate potential users on the various safety benefits.
“We are already seeing telematics technology being used by operators for commercial and internal compliance purposes in the freight sector,” Mr. Retter said.
“While telematics technology is also being used for regulatory purposes, such as allowing vehicles with higher mass limits to gain additional network access, the level of uptake is not as strong as it could be.”
These technological and legal progressions highlight the importance of maintaining flexibility and ensuring your business is adaptable in according for change.
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