THE compliance and enforcement wing of the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will take over on-highway inspections and enforcement of regulations under the National Heavy Vehicle Law in October this year.
NHVR officers have been handling prosecutions in SA since mid-2016.
Big Rigs asked NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto how the system will work in South Australia.
"When an operator gets pulled up on the side of the road, he will be pulled up by an NHVR officer. If he has infringed or if he is breached and moved to prosecution, he will be prosecuted by an NHVR officer.
"I already have 10 staff in South Australia, we have been doing the prosecutional investigation functions since July last year under the South Australian version of the national law, so that is how we will operate," Mr Petroccitto told Big Rigs
It is estimated that the NHVR will eventually deliver $12 billion worth benefits by introducing a single entity operating enforcement and compliance across the country.
Sal Petroccitto says the NHVR is involved in ongoing discussions with all state and territory jurisdictions and the goal is to have all enforcement and compliance to come under one entity across the nation.
Answering the obvious question about how this will happen with jurisdictions such as Western Australia and the Northern Territory, Sal Petroccitto says he remains optimistic and says those two states don't have to sign up to the National Heavy Vehicle Law but can pick and choose components of the NHVR's approach and use them as they see fit. Enforcement and compliance under the one entity could be one of those components.
When the NHVR was set up half a decade ago, one of the goals was to reduce the adversarial confrontation between enforcement officers and truck drivers.
This goal has not been achieved, but Mr Petroccitto says, "The start of that dream becomes a reality in October in South Australia. So we are in the middle of a program now transitioning the transport inspectorial functions from the South Australian Department to the NHVR, so come one November it will be my officers, my uniform, my patch, my people."
Big Rigs asked if these officers will be trained as far as negotiating with transport operators and trying to create some environment of respect.
"A really good question, we have identified training as probably one of the critical issues that need to be dealt with across the country.
"We are looking at a complete program of work right from the way they are trained to the way they undertake their functions, to the way their activity, their engagement will be done. South Australia will probably be the first cab off the rank where we can start to test some of those issues that we that we have put on there."
Big Rigs put to the regulator that at times RMS officers in NSW still have less than professional attitude towards drivers.
"You have really got a point, we are seeing some significant cultural change coming out of RMS as well, hopefully we'll just see what comes out of that."
In South Australia, the agreement will cover all aspects of compliance and enforcement coming under National Heavy Vehicle Law including defect notices, vehicle inspections and load restraints.
"Anything that you can think of that a standard transport inspector would do under a state-based scheme will move across, everything that falls within the confines of that piece of legislation, all 790-odd pages of it, we will do.
"From my perspective this is really the start of cultural change."