NZTA cracking down on compliance

NZTA cracking down on compliance

NZTA cracking down on compliance

Changes to the way the NZ Transport Agency regulates the heavy vehicle transport sector will have a major impact on members.

The agency has announced it is getting tough on enforcement as part of its extensive review of compliance. 

“Safety is our top priority and at the core of why we are making changes to how we approach regulation,” the agency says. “This is not just in the heavy vehicle transport sector, but across all of areas that we are responsible for as a regulator.”  

Review of Operator Rating System (ORS)

Currently, ORS provides a rating between one and five stars based on CoF inspections, roadside inspections, and relevant traffic offences and infringements. The agency says it is likely that more compliance data will be included in the ORS calculations, and adjustments being made to the weightings of some criteria.

The agency will not issue ORS scores in February 2019. It says once a new rating is available it will send it to operators as soon as possible.

“You are reminded that you are accountable for ensuring that your heavy vehicle operation is safe and compliant, and that you have systems in place to monitor this.”

Heavy vehicle permits’ application and compliance monitoring changes

From January 17, 2019, the timeframe for standard permits will extend from five to 10 days. Complex permit applications where there are non-compliance issues to consider will take longer.

This operator check is to be significantly strengthened and will provide a comprehensive understanding of compliance. This includes investigating whether there have been any driver fatigue/distraction issues, road user charges (RUC) evasion, and speeding offences. 

This change may increase the permit assessment timeframes. The Transport Agency will take longer to consider cases where there is non-compliance, and the application will be at risk of being declined in these cases. Permits will not be issued if non-compliance is considered a safety risk.

Operators will be closely monitored for any critical permit breaches. Enforcement actions for critical permit breaches may include revoking permits subject to assessment by the Transport Agency.

Operators can expect wider non-compliance factors to be included in future monitoring. The agency says it will engage with industry about a graduated penalty regime for non-compliance. Permit revocations or enforcement actions will reflect the severity of non-compliance. 

Critical breaches of permits – examples

  • Exceeded maximum gross mass limit
  • Exceeded gross weight limit on a bridge
  • Exceeded gross weight limit – bridge (80% to 90% of Class 1)
  • Exceeded 39 tonne – unfit vehicle
  • Caused or required a vehicle to be overloaded
  • Operated truck and simple trailer over 32 tonnes
  • Exceeded the weight limit on a bridge
  • Breached critical condition of high-productivity permit – gross mass
  • Breached critical condition of high-productivity permit – vehicle mass
  • Breached critical condition high-productivity permit – bridge restriction
Heavy vehicle specialist certifier compliance review 

The Transport Agency is stepping up its regulatory compliance for Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifiers (HVSC), and will inspect heavy vehicles where a component or components have been certified by one of the industry’s 160 certifiers. This follows actions taken against certifiers Peter Wastney, Dick Joyce, Adam McFarlane, and Patrick Chu.

The agency is reviewing files from a range of Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifiers and the physical inspection of some vehicles will follow. Most vehicle assessments will be conducted by external Heavy Vehicle Specialist Certifiers, together with a Transport Agency staff member.

Compliance actions that could be required include training, peer reviewing and/or mentoring, suspension, or revocation.

The agency warns the industry to be aware that some actions will directly impact on the wider transport industry if trucks are taken off the road for recertifications. 

“Safety is our top priority and we encourage operators to clean and check their vehicles regularly.”

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