Although road laws generally apply to drivers and operators, other parties in the transport supply chain are often the cause of breaches, or the breaches are outside of the control of drivers or operators. Australia’s transport Ministers wanted to reform the existing law relating to the use of heavy vehicles to align it with other national safety legislation and tighten up obligations right across the transport supply chain.
So, from October 2018, all parties in the transport supply chain will have a positive duty to ensure safe practices. This does not mean that every party will be liable for every breach – it means that parties will be responsible for any breaches over which they had control to prevent.
Chain of responsibility requirements will also extend to heavy vehicle standards and maintenance, and liability of executive officers will broaden to require due diligence for safety across the entire supply chain.
If your business is part of the transport supply chain, start by taking a look at the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s chain of responsibility gap assessment tool available on the NHVR's website.