NHVR Says Officers Should Identify Defects, Not Explain How to Fix Them
The NHVR says officers know how to identify defects but shouldn’t be required to identify how to fix them because they may not have been trained to do so.
Industry representatives have called for more information about notices and what is needed to repair a defect to be provided by law enforcement officers. But the NHVR says this may not be possible because road transport authorities may not have been trained on how to fix a defect, only how to identify it. Now doubt has been cast on whether or not the trucking industry’s call for more clarity from law enforcement officers regarding heavy vehicle defects will happen.
The NHVR has said that officers may not be able to provide this clarity because they haven’t been trained on how to fix heavy vehicle defects. The regulator does not want any changes implemented that would require officers to explain in detail the cause of defects and how to fix them – a measure the industry has called for.
The regulator said in a statement,
“The NHVR has received feedback from industry that it is seeking specific information in defect notices on what is required to clear a defect, such as specifying the part that is to be repaired,”
“Vehicles can be issued with a defect notice because they either fail a prescriptive standard or a performance based standard.”
“Where a vehicle fails a performance based standard such as excessive movement at the wheel rim, the authorised officer is unlikely to be able to identify the exact cause, particularly at the roadside.
The NHVR also said that while officers were trained to identify the defect, they may not be able to identify the actual problematic component or the action needed to fix the problem. The statement went on to explain:
“Further, authorised officers are trained to identify the defect, not necessarily the actual defective component or the remedial action required.”
The statement from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator came after the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) review of Australia’s heavy vehicle roadworthiness and inspection standards. The NTC released its paper at the end of January detailing ways to improve heavy vehicle accreditation, inspection and roadworthiness standards.
The NTC will submit its final recommendations to Australia’s transport ministers in July.
The NHVR says it doesn’t support changes requiring law enforcement officers to provide truck drivers with a detailed explanation on what caused the defect specifically, stating
“Any changes to the regulatory framework with respect to defect notices needs to ensure that they are not so overly prescriptive as to require authorised officers to identify the exact cause of the defect,” the NHVR says.
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