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INFORMATION ON NSW AND QLD FIRES
ALRTA encourages transport operators to check the current status of fires and road closures when travelling in NSW or QLD. You can find the primary links here:
NSW Fire information
NSW Road Information
QLD Fire Information
QLD Road Information
UPDATE: USER-PAY TRIAL
After almost 10 weeks of seamless operation, ALRTA regrets to inform drivers that the user-pay unloading platform being trialled at Kilcoy Global Foods has suffered a technical problem and is currently not available for use.
As a ‘first of its kind’ piece of equipment, it is not entirely unexpected that malfunction may have occurred during the trial period. A technician will travel to Kilcoy asap to fix the problem and put measures in place to prevent similar problems in future.
To ensure that a full 12 weeks of usage data can be collected as originally planned, ALRTA and Kilcoy Global Foods will extend the trial period. The trial will recommence for a further two weeks as soon as the platform is in operation, with the charge remaining at $2.50 until the end of the trial.
ALRTA apologises for the inconvenience and we thank you for your patience and understanding while the problem is fixed.
DEPARTMENTAL CHANGING OF THE GUARD
There have been two significant new appointments within national road agencies.
Mr Simon Atkinson has been appointed as new Federal Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development. Mr Atkinson has previous experience in Infrastructure and Regional Development, Infrastructure Australia, Federal Cabinet Secretary and as a political adviser.
Dr Geoff Allan has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer of AustRoads. Dr Allan was previously Chief Operating Officer with the National Transport Commission. He has also worked in Federal and Queensland transport departments.
CALL FOR SAFETY FUNDING APPLICATIONS
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is calling for funding applications for round five of the federal government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) program.
This week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack announced a $5.48 million allocation for groups and projects delivering real safety benefits for the heavy vehicle industry and all road users.
Projects or programs, education or awareness campaigns, or materials that increase safety awareness and compliance that are in need of funding and support should consider applying.
Applications for round five funding are open until 21 February 2020.
Projects must be implementable, commence in the 2020-21 financial year and be completed by 30 June 2023.
For more information or to view the Submission Guidelines visit www.nhvr.gov.au/hvsi
If you have a great idea for a national heavy vehicle road safety project, contact the ALRTA Secretariat on (02) 6247 5434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION BACKS ATA APPROACH TO CRASH INVESTIGATION
A new report from the Productivity Commission has backed calls from the Australian Trucking Association for better investigations into truck crashes.
The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 business and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, we are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.
The Draft Productivity Commission report on national transport regulatory reform has recommended that the Australian Government should engage the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to undertake a defined, targeted trial of incident investigation for heavy vehicles.
“The ATA has long argued that the ATSB should undertake independent, no-blame safety investigations of crashes involving trucks and autonomous vehicles,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said.
If the trial is successful, the report recommends the Government amend the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 to confirm investigation of incidents involving heavy vehicles as a function of the ATSB. The report also recommends the ATSB’s role should be extended to include any incident where autonomous technologies at or above SAE level 3 autonomy may have been involved.
Mr Crouch said the weight of expert evidence and support for extending the role of the ATSB was clear.
“The ATA has consistently raised the importance of extending ATSB investigations into truck crashes, especially as levels of driving automation increase,” Mr Crouch said.
“The ATA recommended to the Productivity Commission that the role of the ATSB should be extended to provide independent, no-blame, safety investigations for road crashes involving heavy vehicles,” he said.
The ATA’s position was also reflected in the inquiry into the national road safety strategy, which recommended the need for a national investigative regime for road crashes similar to the ATSB.
“Extending the role of the ATSB would ensure no stone is left unturned in reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” Mr Crouch said.
“This is a practical approach to improving road safety that supports the ATA and Australian Government vision of zero fatalities and injuries on our roads.
“The draft Productivity Commission recommendation highlights the effectiveness of the ATA’s rigorous, evidence-based approach to representing our members in Canberra and the strength of our case,” he said.
VEHICLE STANDARDS SELF-SERVICE
Operators will be able to track, in real time, the status of their Vehicle Standards applications in the NHVR Portal from Wednesday 20 November.
The new ‘Case Management’ function will allow operators to log in anytime and see the status of their applications in just a few clicks. This ability to ‘self-service’ will mean operators will no longer need to call the NHVR for updates on processing times.
The new feature follows the launch of the Vehicle Standards service in the NHVR Portal last month, which now allows operators to apply for In-Principle Support, Vehicle Standards Exemption Permits and Heavy Vehicle Modification Approvals in the NHVR Portal.
Sign up to the webinar for a demonstration of the new feature.
If you have any questions about the new services available in the NHVR Portal, please contact the NHVR Call Centre on 1300 MY NHVR (1300 696 487).
CURFEW IS LIFTED FOR MACHINERY IN WA
Industry leaders and livestock transport operators have welcomed the easing of the agricultural vehicle curfew on key routes in the WA State road network.
The State Government announced on Thursday that rules around the movement of oversize agricultural vehicles had been revised in a bid to balance community road safety with industry efficiency.
For the past 15 years a curfew has prevented oversized vehicles from using the road network during the Easter and Christmas periods, clashing with the agricultural industry’s busy seeding and harvest periods.
Changes to the curfew only apply to agricultural vehicles above 5.5m in width and will mean farmers only need to obtain a permit when they need to take an over-mass agricultural combination across a bridge.
Owner of Brunswick-based Wedderburn Transport Mark Talbot said he welcomed the “common-sense move” to lift the curfews.
“As transporters we are aware of agricultural movements and travel through country areas where there could be large machinery sharing the road,” Mr Talbot said.
“As long as the public use the same common sense and awareness I see this as a good move to help farmers.”
Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA president David Fyfe also welcomed the move.
“We are pleased to see that there is closer monitoring of the movement of agricultural equipment as the equipment must be moved, but it must be done safely,” Mr Fyfe said.
He pointed to communication and being mindful of other vehicle types was the key.
“We would like to see greater communication with the travelling public, especially tourists, to remind them that this is a busy time in Western Australia and to be mindful that they are likely to encounter equipment being moved on rural roads.”
“It is also timely to remind drivers moving equipment to communicate on channel 40 on their radios so that heavy vehicles are aware they are there.”
NTI URGES CUSTOMERS TO STAY SAFE AMID BUSHFIRE CRISIS
Australia’s largest trucking and logistics insurer, NTI, has pleaded with customers to stay safe as catastrophic bushfires burn across Queensland and New South Wales.
NTI CEO Tony Clark said the insurer had received a number of claims since the bushfires began. Mr Clark said anyone impacted by the fires was encouraged to submit a claim as soon as possible. “Customers or intermediaries needing to make a claim should contact NTI via the NTI Accident Assist service on 1800 NTI NOW,” he said.
Mr Clark also urged those in the transport and logistics industries to check their route was safe before departing.
Read full media release
TELL A MATE ABOUT HEAVY VEHICLE SAFETY
One of Australia’s best-known personalities, Shane Jacobson, is back on board with the NHVR’s Tell a mate heavy vehicle safety campaign.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto welcomed Jacobson’s passion for heavy vehicle safety, after being the face of the Tell a mate campaign over the past year.
“Initially Shane will be part of our Focus on Fatigue campaign in the lead-up to Christmas, urging drivers to chat to their colleagues and other road users about recognising the signs of fatigue,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“Shane has a real interest in heavy vehicle safety and it’s exciting to be able to continue this partnership.
“Heavy vehicle safety is everyone’s business, whether you drive a truck or a car, tow a trailer or a caravan.
“We’re calling on the industry to chat to their mates about fatigue, driving safely around trucks and etiquette around using truck rest stops.
“Simple conversations can make a big difference and we know the message is often best delivered by peers.
“For example, if you notice your vehicle drifting or overshooting a sign or lane, you may be fatigued. Take a break and get home safe. Remember, the only cure for tiredness is sleep. It’s better to arrive late than never.”
Tell a mate is a social media campaign, delivered by the NHVR. For more information head to www.nhvr.gov.au/tellamate