Improved heavy vehicle safety

15 November 2013

Duncan Gay leads the way for improved heavy vehicle safety

Roads and Ports Minister Duncan Gay has led the way for a review of heavy vehicle maintenance and safety in the wake of the tragic accident at Mona Vale in which two people were killed.

Attending the Standing Committee on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) in Brisbane Mr Gay successfully convinced the Committee to start work on three initiatives aimed at improving the maintenance regime for heavy vehicles.

The move follows the tragic deaths of two men and the injury to five others when a petrol tanker lost control heading down Mona Vale road crashing into a number of cars and creating a massive fireball.

An examination of the petrol tanker led police and Roads and Maritime Services officials to conduct a wide ranging audit of the Cootes Transport Company, finding hundreds of mechanical defects including a lack of brakes on some vehicles.

Police and RMS inspected 310 Cootes Transport vehicles and issued 244 defects, 85 major defects and grounded 10 of the company’s fleet.

Following the audit Mr Gay wrote to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator seeking a review of the effectiveness of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme.

Minister Gay and Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker also wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss advising him of a coroner’s report recommendation from 2009 into the deaths of four people who died in similar circumstances.

The Coroner recommended that legislation be amended to make it a requirement that all vehicles carrying dangerous goods be fitted with a stability control system.

Today the Committee agreed to:

  1. A review of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme to be led by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator;
  2. Bring forward to 2013-14 the National Transport Commission’s scheduled review of heavy vehicle inspection regimes; and
  3. Expedite consideration of the introduction of mandatory requirements for electronic stability control on all new heavy vehicle trailers carrying dangerous goods.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the National Transport Commission will be coordinating the reviews of the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme and vehicle inspection regimes.

Mr Gay said he was delighted SCOTI had agreed to his proposals.

“I would like to thank SCOTI Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and my ministerial colleagues from across the country for supporting this important initiative,” Mr Gay said.

MEDIA: Lance Northey 0467 7643192

View the original media release (PDF)

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