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Speed

Speed is but one of the identified causation factors giving rise to heavy vehicle crashes and fatalities. Nonetheless it is important that all those in the logistics chain accept their responsibility to deliver safety outcomes in the operation of heavy vehicles.

The Queensland Government passed the Transport Legislation Amendment Act (no# 13) 2010, based on the National Road Transport Reform (Compliance and Enforcement) Bill 2003. This included amendments to the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 to incorporate heavy vehicle speed compliance legislation.

Heavy Vehicle Speed Compliance Legislation (extending to Chain of Responsibility provisions) was implemented by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads on 1st July 2010. This was part of the national model legislation developed by the National Transport Commission and approved by the Australian Transport Council in December 2007.

Supplementary legislation was also introduced extending to the Compliance & Enforcement penalties and sanctions provisions to include Formal Warnings and Improvement Notices. In addition Court based sanctions might include Supervisory Intervention Orders and Compensation Orders. These provisions come into effect from 29th November 2010.

Purpose of Heavy Vehicle Speed Compliance

Heavy vehicle speed compliance focuses on the chain of responsibility  and places obligations on certain parties within the transport chain to ensure their actions or inaction's do not cause the driver of a heavy vehicle to exceed any speed limit. The provisions in the legislation are preventative in nature and seek to ensure that business practices do not encourage heavy vehicle speeding.

The Changes to Legislation

While the new Legislation does not change the obligations on owners, operators and drivers to obey the Law with respect to speed compliance, it also does not provide a “get out of jail free card” to drivers who have the ability to directly manage the speed of their vehicle. Owners and operators have an obligation to take reasonable steps in respect of the behaviour of their drivers and their vehicles. It is not sufficient for operators, managers, consignors of freight and others to simply dispatch the heavy vehicle and take no responsibility for its on road behaviour.

    • The amendments to the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 requires certain parties within the chain of responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their actions will not cause the driver of a heavy vehicle to exceed any speed limit (e.g. their scheduling, loading or consigning activities)
    • The chain of responsibility parties identified in the model legislation includes employers, operators, prime contractors, schedulers, loading managers, and certain consignors and consignees. These are the parties who, other than the driver, are most directly responsible for the operation of a heavy vehicle
    • Parties charged with an offence under this legislation have the benefit of the reasonable steps defence which means they must be able to establish that they took all reasonable steps to prevent a heavy vehicle speeding offence from occurring
    • The legislation also provides guidance as to what constitutes the taking of reasonable steps, for example - taking steps to identify what aspects of their activities might cause a driver to speed and to identify what steps can be taken to avoid or minimise that risk


Speed Compliance Guides

The Queensland Department of Transport & Main Roads have also developed Speed Compliance Guides for:

  • Drivers, Operators, Prime-contractors and Employers

  • Schedulers, Consignors and Consignees

  • A brief overview of Speed Limiter Requirements for Heavy Vehicles


The above Guidelines can be downloaded from the Transport & Main Roads website.


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