THE NEAR FUTURE: Logistics app Uber Freight was launched in the US earlier this year.
THE NEAR FUTURE: Logistics app Uber Freight was launched in the US earlier this year. Kirstin Payne

Apps may be link in chain of responsibility

CHAIN of Responsibility Laws could also extend as far as ride share giant Uber, which last month launched its flagship logistics app, Uber Freight, in North America.

As similar platforms have already begun to make their mark Down Under, alone Aussie-owned Channel 40 reported more than 2000 registered and active truck users.

However the problem of ambiguous definitions in a digital world that faced the taxi industry could also face heavy vehicle enforcement agencies when it comes to legislating the role these apps play in the Chain of Responsibility.

"A digital transaction can be considered the same as a traditional contractor or engagement transaction under the Chain of Responsibility provisions of the HVNL,” NHVR manager for CoR Michael Crellin said.

"Irrespective of the channel of delivery, or mode of appointment in a digital transaction, the company may still be considered a party in the Chain of Responsibility because of the ability of the HVNL to consider an individual or a corporation as a party completing the role.

"The question regarding whether or not a 'facilitator' is captured under the CoR provisions depends on the actual role that person or corporation plays,” he said.

Depending upon the employment relationship, the "facilitator” may be considered an employer, which may prove to be an interesting legal debate to be had in the near future.

Uber did not respond to Big Rig's request for comment.

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