TELEMATICS SOLUTION: Systems such as this one from Teletrac Navman have the ability to save lives, says the ALC.
TELEMATICS SOLUTION: Systems such as this one from Teletrac Navman have the ability to save lives, says the ALC.

Pick up the pace on reform, urges logistics boss

THE Australian Logistics Council has reiterated a call to governments to make telematics mandatory in the trucking industry.

In a wide-ranging summation of last week's Transport and Infrastructure Council meeting in Sydney, the ALC's Interim CEO Lachlan Benson said any further delays are only putting more lives at risk.

"No one can credibly dispute the capacity such technology has to save lives on our roads, and the technology is becoming more affordable each day. Delaying mandatory telematics is needlessly putting lives at risk on our roads,” he said.

Mr Benson added that it's crucial that the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) set to be undertaken by the National Transport Commission delivers the right outcomes.

"Similarly, the HVNL review is the right moment to establish a consistent national form of accreditation for heavy vehicle operators. This must include requiring operators to have the financial capacity to maintain their fleets to the required standard, and to adopt a uniform safety management system.”

"What industry now requires is all governments to act more quickly to progress reforms, so they can be implemented alongside the finalised National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, due to be presented to the next TIC meeting scheduled for May next year.”

He said improving the efficiency and safety of our supply chains is a vital national economic priority.

"If Australia is going to meet its growing freight task and remain internationally competitive, then we must ensure the regulatory frameworks around freight movement reflect modern realities and allow this industry to meet customer's expectations.

"ALC notes that jurisdictions have been asked to return to TIC in 2019 with advice on Heavy Vehicle Road Reform (HVRR) options, including advice on implementation.

"We now need a definitive reform timeline to be established and adhered to, and for industry to be given its opportunity to comment on acknowledged critical matters including locationbased charging, elements of a forward-looking cost base and the ambit of community service obligations.”

The ALC made a similar plea for telematics regulation at the NSW government inquiry into safety earlier this year.

Arguing in the scheme's favour, ALC highlighted a recent survey conducted by Teletrac Navman which found that companies who have implemented, or are planning to implement, telematics technology, saw speed prevention (58%) and monitoring hours to prevent driver fatigue/exhaustion (39%) as the top two safety benefits realised by using telematics.

"ALC believes a move to mandatory telematics will not place an unduly onerous requirement on the heavy vehicle industry,” its submission read.

"Indeed, today a smartphone already has the capability to act as a basic telematics device, and the capacities of such technology will only improve in the years to come.”

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