Most Australian States and Territories now operate under a uniform national law in relation to truck and heavy vehicle issues. This law is known as the Heavy Vehicle National Law. It is overseen by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
The following topics are now dealt with by the Heavy Vehicle National Law:
- Vehicle standards and safety
- Driver fatigue
- Mass, loading and dimension limits and exemptions
- Heavy vehicle speeding
- Performance Based Standards (PBS)
- Intelligent Access Program (IAP)
- Accreditation programs, such as the Advances Fatigue Management (AFM) and Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) schemes
- Enforcement and investigation powers
- Penalties for offences under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (such as fatigue, mass, loading or dimension breaches)
This means that the laws in relation to those things are the same between participating States and Territories.
Who enforces the Heavy Vehicle National Law?
The Heavy Vehicle National Law is enforced by the State or Territory authority in which the breach occurred. In NSW this means that the RMS (RTA) is responsible for bring proceedings for breaches of the National Law.
Prosecutions for offences under the Heavy Vehicle National Law will be dealt with in the Courts of the State or Territory where the offence occurred. This means that the rules of Court and the criminal justice system of that State or Territory will apply. This means that there can be some differences in the way offences can be dealt with between jurisdictions.
What happens if I am charged with the same offence in different States?
Sometimes a single breach of the Heavy Vehicle National Law will occur over more than one participating State or Territory. In these cases, the person can only be prosecuted in one State or Territory for that single offence.