HVIA supports NTC design rule safety proposals

Some external safety devices set to be exempted from dimension rules


Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) sees sense in changes proposed by the National Transport Commission’s (NTC’s) recent consultation paper on heavy vehicle standards.

Australian Light Vehicle Standards Rules and Heavy Vehicle (Vehicle Standards) National Regulation Explanation of 2020 amendments outlines the changes to improve consistency with the Australian Design Rules (ADRs), allow for the uptake of safety systems technology and to clarify or improve the operation of current standards.

The proposals will be considered by ministers for approval in November 2020.

The suggestions around heavy vehicle standards, including further exemptions for safety devices, has the backing of HVIA national manager for policy and government relations Greg Forbes.

“HVIA continues to advocate for policy and regulatory change that supports the improved uptake of safety technology in Australia’s heavy vehicle fleet,” Forbes says.

“The success of initiatives such as the NHVR’s recently announced Vehicle SETUP plan depend on a regulatory environment that not only supports, but encourages safety innovation.”

HVIA welcomes action on component type approvals

Eight items are already exempt from width calculations.

  1. an anti-skid device mounted on the wheels of the heavy vehicle;
  2. a central tyre inflation system fitted to the heavy vehicle;
  3. a side marker light fitted to the heavy vehicle;
  4. a mirror fitted to the heavy vehicle;
  5. a reflector fitted to the heavy vehicle;
  6. a signalling device fitted to the heavy vehicle;
  7. a tyre pressure gauge fitted to the heavy vehicle;
  8. a permanently fixed webbing assembly-type device, if the maximum distance across the body of the heavy vehicle, including any part of the device, is not more than 2.55m;

Blind spot mirrors protruding forward less than 150mm are also currently exempt from vehicle length calculations.

The new proposed changes cover:

  • Blind Spot Information Systems (BSIS)
  • Indirect Vision Devices (IVD)
  • Retroreflective materials for warning signs
  • The use of cleats or other gripping devices on heavy trailer tyre treads

“The first two of the proposed changes add safety features to the existing list of items that are exempt from the calculation of width and length on heavy vehicles,” Forbes explains.

The changes related to the retroreflective materials are largely to align the vehicle standards with naming conventions which have changed as a result of a recent review of AS/NZ 1906, which is the Australian Standard for retroreflective materials.

These naming conventions were changed to align with international naming conventions.

The final change aligns the requirements for tyres on heavy trailers with those that already apply to tyres on trucks.

These provisions are designed to prevent road damage, HVIA notes.

Public comments on the exposure drafts are open until 27 September and may be submitted directly to the NTC.

The exposure draft is available here and the consultation paper here.


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