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ALRTA CONSIDERS TELEMATICS CONDITIONS
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has responded to an NHVR discussion paper about The Application of Telematics Conditions for Risk Management and Productivity Engagement.
The discussion paper takes a principled approach to telematics conditions noting the increased appetite of road managers for telematics information for network management purposes. Telematics data can also be used to monitor compliance with specific permit or notice conditions and more generally for compliance and enforcement.
While telematics systems can be beneficial for road transport business management, ALRTA generally views telematics (vehicle tracking) related access conditions as an unnecessary cost to operators that generate little or no direct safety benefit. The presence of a telematics system does not override the immediate decisions of drivers, road conditions, weather conditions or the actions other motorists, pedestrians or free ranging animals.
However, some operators are prepared to accept telematics as an access condition, provided that there are substantial access or productivity benefits. In this regard, ALRTA has stressed that the access and productivity benefits do not arise from the presence of a telematics condition – these benefits would be present with or without a telematics condition. In any event, telematics conditions must not be applied for future network access if not required in the past.
Evidence to date suggests that telematics does little to protect public infrastructure or to assist real-time compliance and enforcement. Robust systems such as IAP have been costly, with next to no monitoring or enforcement. The very small number of enforcement actions occurring have been retrospective in nature – an approach that can already be taken by authorities when vehicles are intercepted or incidents are investigated, and records (both electronic and paper-based) are compelled for production.
Overall, telematics conditions appear to be more about providing a level of public assurance than improving safety or productivity.
ALRTA does however understand the case for using deidentified telematics data for general network monitoring. This type of ‘big data’ can provide insights about network usage and demand for infrastructure improvements that might improve safety and productivity and enable authorities to better target enforcement activities.
The key to success in this area is to establish a uniform data standard and privacy protections such that the identities of individual vehicles, drivers and operators are protected. Only then will there be a level of comfort that ‘big brother’ is not an omnipresent intrusion in an individual’s personal space and private life. Trucks are both a workplace and a home for many drivers. A third party data collector should be responsible for establishing a data standard and deidentifying data before it is provided to authorities or road managers.
As a general rule, in cases where telematics conditions are applied, only the lowest level system able to provide the minimum necessary data should be required. This will keep costs low and provide a greater choice of systems for operators. Ideally, an operator should be able to use their ‘in house’ system to provide a limited dataset (with legal protections against data creep or inadvertent acquisition by authorities) and technology providers should be free to innovate while meeting a uniform data standard.
Telematics may also be useful for monitoring compliance with a very specific access condition. For example, a mass limit on a particular bridge or limits on the time of day that a route may be used. In these cases, there must be a very significant and specific risk that is being addressed and the data collected by the telematics system must be limited to that required to monitor the condition applied to address that risk. The operator should not be required to provide any more data than the minimum necessary.
It is also unreasonable for authorities to require that operators pay for data transformation, processing or analysis (beyond a basic requirement to provide data able to meet the uniform standard). Any further data manipulation must be the responsibility of, and be paid for by, the requesting, collecting or analysing authority. After all, if the telematics conditions are reasonable, authorities will save money via more efficient monitoring and enforcement approaches.
If, despite the comments and concerns outlined above, governments intend to pursue an agenda of requiring telematics conditions for risk management or productivity enhancement, or encouraging voluntary provision of telematic data, ALRTA has asserted that governments must offer attractive incentives to operators. Such incentives might include reduced registration costs, improved network access (eg via a HVAMS type system), productivity enhancements (e.g. a mass increase), improved axle mass tolerances or the abolition or scaling back of state enforcement task forces.
FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR ATA TRUCKING AWARDS 2023
ATA has announced the National Trucking Industry Awards finalists for 2023.
ALRTA recognises the achievements of all the finalists and particularly congratulates ALRTA members: Jacquelene Brotherton (Life member of LBRCA), Alina Hawkins (COO of LRTAV) and Frasers Livestock Transport (ALRTA chapter member and member of LRTAQ) on their selection as finalists for the awards – Outstanding Contribution to the Industry, National Trucking Woman of the Year and National Training Excellence Award 2023.
Well done everyone!
ALRTA MEETS CANADIAN TRADE COMMISSIONER
ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, has met with Acting Canadian Trade Commissioner, Beverly Wilson, to discuss a potential new trade opportunity. Commissioner Wilson is raising awareness of new technology coming out of Canada that actively monitors and reports on indicators of animal welfare in road transport. The software supporting a sensor array analyses data and is able to report on conditions to all supply chain stakeholders in real time.
ALRTA has advised about Australian operating conditions, markets and consumer sentiment. A more detailed presentation will be made by the technology developer at the next meeting of the ALRTA National Driver and Animal Welfare Committee. Select members may be invited to trial the system.
2023 LBRCA CONFERENCE & AGM
ALRTA President, Scott McDonald, ALRTA Executive Director, Mat Munro, and ALRTA Project Officer, Sue Davies, attended the 2023 LBRCA Annual Conference in Tamworth. President McDonald provided a report to the LBRCA Executive Committee about ALRTA activities while Mr Munro discussed heavy vehicle charging and live exports during a panel session about safeguarding the rural transport supply chain.
Sue Davies led the first of 12 interactive workshop sessions designed to raise awareness about the registered code of practice: Managing Effluent in the Livestock Supply Chain. NHVR’s Senior Prosecutor, Penny Baker, also participated in the presentation.
ALRTA congratulates the following office bearers elected at the 2023 LBRCA AGM:
- President: Wade Lewis, Agrigrowers
- Immediate Past President: Paul Pulver, LBRCA Life Member
- Vice President – Livestock: Robert Cavanagh, Cavanagh’s Stockmaster
- Vice President – Bulk: Jeremy Horne, Horne Ag Logistics
- Treasurer: Stephen Hopkins, Hopkins Transport
- Secretary: Tracey Boschetti, P&T Boschetti Transport
- Regulator Rep: Graeme Hoare, Martins Stock Haulage
- Sponsorship Rep: Stephen Haslem, Walcha Carrying Co
- Fleet Operator/s Bulk: Andy Divall, Divall’s Bulk Haulage and Lyndon Jay, Multiquip
- Fleet Operator/s Livestock: Joe Sepos, Stocktrans and Graeme Hoare, Martins Stock
ISC FORMALLY LAUNCHES E-NVD APP
Integrity Systems Company (ISC) has reached a critical milestone in its mission to support the red meat industry in becoming ‘digital ready’, with the new eNVD Livestock Consignments app to be formally launched on Tuesday March 21.
The app is a complete offline solution for livestock consignments and uses QR codes to transfer consignment data from producer to transporter, saleyard, feedlot and processor, even without internet service. Since it was featured at MLA Updates in November, there has been more than 3,000 downloads and more than 69,000 head moved through the app.
Get ready for digital consignments here!
NHVR COMMERCIAL BENEFITS ORDERS
The NHVR has obtained two Commercial Benefits orders following two companies who attempted to profit by cutting corners on safety.
Commercial Benefits orders can be sought by the NHVR under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to ensure industry is doing the right thing. Any profit obtained through a breach of the HVNL can be recovered through this order in an amount up to three times greater than the profit received from the breach.
Types of offences that can result in the NHVR obtaining a commercial benefits order include breaches of mass or dimension requirements.
One of the two orders applied for by the NHVR involved a heavy vehicle that was intercepted and weighed at 120.6% of the vehicles permissible mass. The defendant was charged with one count of permitting a heavy vehicle to be driven while over mass – a severe risk breach.
NHVR Director of Prosecutions Belinda Hughes said that Commercial Benefits orders have been crucial in holding those companies to account who are profiting from breaking the law.
“We’ve been asked what we’re doing for companies that are profiting from offending or jeopardising safety to get ahead financially.” said Ms Hughes.
“Commercial Benefits orders are one way for us to address those concerns. No longer can a company benefit financially from offending. These orders calculate how much profit was made through breaking the law and then recovers that amount.”
“This means there is no financial benefit to offending – it’s not worth taking the risk.”
The NHVR is significantly maturing in becoming a modern and intelligence-led regulator that focuses regulatory action towards those who pose the greatest risks to road users. Using orders such as these, risks can be addressed and encourage safer practices.
For more information about NHVR prosecutions, visit www.nhvr.gov.au/law-policies/prosecutions
SAVE THE DATES FOR 2023
- ATA TRUCKING AUSTRALIA 2023 – 29-31 March 2023 – SUNSHINE COAST QLD – Information & Registration
- LRTASA – 16-17 June 2023 – Adelaide Entertainment Centre – SA
- LRTAWA/NATIONAL Combined Conference – 4-5 August 2023 – BUSSELTON – WA.
- LRTAV – 11-12 August 2023 – BALLARAT – VIC
- LRTAQ – 28-29 September 2023 – The Ville Resort, TOWNSVILLE – QLD