Industry News

Regulator calls for urgent reform of the PBS scheme

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has released its ‘Removing Roadblocks to Reform’ paper, calling for swift reform of the Performance Based Standards (PBS) scheme.

NHVR chief safety and productivity officer David Hourigan said the paper called on industry and government to work alongside the regulator to create positive change for the road transport sector.

The regulator wants to see urgent amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) to allow for mature and proven PBS vehicles to transition to the prescriptive vehicle fleet. Unlike PBS vehicles, the prescriptive fleet is not subject to safety performance assessment.

“This will help us accelerate the transition to a younger and less polluting heavy vehicle fleet, and most importantly, save lives,” Hourigan said.

Currently, the safest, most productive, and lower emission heavy vehicles face more barriers to get on the road than a standard ‘prescriptive’ heavy vehicle, said Hourigan.

“As a result, we are seeing higher emissions, loss of productivity benefits and most concerningly, more fatalities.

“We need to modernise the PBS scheme, and to do this we must change the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).

“We seek to work with government and industry to reset the PBS scheme’s policy settings and update the PBS standards.”

Hourigan said while the PBS scheme had proven popular, it was initially designed to act as a pathway for innovative designs and technologies to be safely developed and deployed, and was now failing to operate as originally intended.

“Rather than allowing for new truck designs, it is dominated by more or less of the same vehicles,” he said.

“Of more than 20,000 PBS combinations on Australia’s roads, almost half consist of one vehicle type – the truck and dog combination.”


The post Regulator calls for urgent reform of the PBS scheme appeared first on Big Rigs.

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