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TRANSPORT CHAIN OF RESPONSIBILITY LEGISLATION

Overview

In the spring of 2005 new legislation (the nation road transport reform compliance & enforcement bill) was introduced in the West Australian parliament.

Why new legislation?

  • Improvement to road safety.
  • Important business efficiency & compliance.
  • Level playing field for industry.
  • Improving deterrence & enforcement.
  • Reducing infrastructure damage.

What is the chain of responsibility?
The chain of responsibility means that anybody – not just the driver – who has control in a transport operation, can be held responsibility for breaches of road laws and may be made legally liable. In other words, if you use road transport as part of your business, you share responsibility for ensuring breaches of road laws do not occur.
If a breach of road transport law occurs due your action, inaction or demands, you may be legally accountable.

This means:   control = responsibility = legal liability

If you are involved in any of the following road transport activities you may be held responsible fore breaches of road laws:

  • CONSIGNING - a person or company commissioning the carrying of goods.
  • PACKING - placing goods in packages, containers or pallets.
  • LOADING - placing or restraining the load on a vehicle.
  • DRIVING - the physical act of driving a heavy vehicle.
  • OPERATION - operating a business which controls the use of heavy vehicle. 
  • RECEIVING - paying for the goods/taking possession of the load.

You will also have obligations not to coerce, induce or courage a breach of road transport laws.
In addition to ensuring compliance with road laws, you will have to take reasonable steps to make sure that you do not pass on to other parties any false or misleading information about a vehicle or its load. If you victimise an employee or contractor who raises concerns about actual or possible breaches of road transport laws, you will commit an offence.

Under the new legislation, a corporation, partnership or other body corporate can be found guilty of an offence under the chain of responsibility.

 

For the Consignor/Receiver

In the spring of 2005 new legislation (the nation road transport reform compliance & enforcement bill) was introduced in the West Australian parliament.

Why new legislation?

  • Improvement to road safety.
  • Important business efficiency & compliance.
  • Level playing field for industry.
  • Improving deterrence & enforcement.
  • Reducing infrastructure damage.

What is the chain of responsibility?
The chain of responsibility means that anybody – not just the driver – who has control in a transport operation, can be held responsibility for breaches of road laws and may be made legally liable. In other words, if you use road transport as part of your business, you share responsibility for ensuring breaches of road laws do not occur.
If a breach of road transport law occurs due your action, inaction or demands, you may be legally accountable.

This means:   control = responsibility = legal liability

What are you responsibilities?
As a consignor or receiver, you have a responsibility for ensuring that any demands that you make do not require a truck driver to;

  • Exceed permitted driving hours
  • Fail to have minimum rest periods
  • Exceed the speed limits
  • Goods carried do not exceed the vehicle dimension limits
  • Goods carried do not cause vehicle mass limits to be exceeded
  • Goods carried are appropriately secured

 

For the Loader/Packer

In the spring of 2005 new legislation (the nation road transport reform compliance & enforcement bill) was introduced in the West Australian parliament.

Why new legislation?

  • Improvement to road safety.
  • Important business efficiency & compliance.
  • Level playing field for industry.
  • Improving deterrence & enforcement.
  • Reducing infrastructure damage.

What is the chain of responsibility?
The chain of responsibility means that anybody – not just the driver – who has control in a transport operation, can be held responsibility for breaches of road laws and may be made legally liable. In other words, if you use road transport as part of your business, you share responsibility for ensuring breaches of road laws do not occur.
If a breach of road transport law occurs due your action, inaction or demands, you may be legally accountable.

This means:   control = responsibility = legal liability

What are you responsibilities?
As a loader or packer, you have a responsibility for ensuring that the vehicle’s load:

  • Dose not exceed dimension limits.
  • Dose not cause vehicle mass limits to be exceeded
  • Is placed in a way that it dose not become unstable, move or fall off the vehicle.

Packers will have a responsibility for ensuring that documentation about the vehicle’s load is not false or misleading. They will also need to make sure that any goods packed in a freight container does not cause the containers gross weight or safety approval rating to be exceeded.

 

For the Driver

In the spring of 2005 new legislation (the nation road transport reform compliance & enforcement bill) was introduced in the West Australian parliament.

Why new legislation?

  • Improvement to road safety.
  • Important business efficiency & compliance.
  • Level playing field for industry.
  • Improving deterrence & enforcement.
  • Reducing infrastructure damage.

What is the chain of responsibility?
The chain of responsibility means that anybody – not just the driver – who has control in a transport operation, can be held responsibility for breaches of road laws and may be made legally liable. In other words, if you use road transport as part of your business, you share responsibility for ensuring breaches of road laws do not occur.
If a breach of road transport law occurs due your action, inaction or demands, you may be legally accountable.

This means:   control = responsibility = legal liability

What are you responsibilities?

  • You adhere to the driving hour regulations (time spent driving & working)
  • You take the required rest breaks
  • You record your driving hours as required
  • Your vehicle dose not exceed mass limits
  • Your vehicle & load do not exceed dimension limits.
  • You load is properly restrained
  • You do not exceed the speed limits
  • You do not tamper with any equipment required to be fitted to the vehicle.

As a driver, you need to make sure that your conduct dose not compromise road safety or involve breaking the law. You should know your vehicle mass and must not exceed the regulated hours for driving and working.  Remember that these are maximum hours. You should always rest when tired and have adequate sleep to prevent fatigue.  You should make sure that your vehicle dose not exceeds legal dimensions you should cheek your load to ensure that it is properly restrained, even if you are not the person who loaded the vehicle. You should check the adequacy and condition of restraining equipment (chains, ropes, and straps etc).

 

For the Operator/ Manager/ Scheduler

In the spring of 2005 new legislation (the nation road transport reform compliance & enforcement bill) was introduced in the West Australian parliament.

Why new legislation?

  • Improvement to road safety.
  • Important business efficiency & compliance.
  • Level playing field for industry.
  • Improving deterrence & enforcement.
  • Reducing infrastructure damage.

What is the chain of responsibility?
The chain of responsibility means that anybody – not just the driver – who has control in a transport operation, can be held responsibility for breaches of road laws and may be made legally liable. In other words, if you use road transport as part of your business, you share responsibility for ensuring breaches of road laws do not occur.
If a breach of road transport law occurs due your action, inaction or demands, you may be legally accountable.

This means:   control = responsibility = legal liability

What are you responsibilities?
As an operator, manager or scheduler of a business involved in road transport your responsibilities include ensuring that:

  •  Rosters & schedules do not require drivers to exceed driving hours, regulations or speed limits.
  • Vehicles do not exceed mass or dimension limits.
  • Appropriate restraint equipment is provided & loads are appropriately restrained.
  • That you keep records of your driver’s activities, including driving, work and rest times.

As an operator or an employee of an operator, you need to make sure that your conduct dose not compromise road safety or involve breaking the law. You should implement systems to ensure that the mass of each vehicle is assessed and recorded for each trip. You should have an auditable system for rostering and scheduling your driver/s so they do not exceed the regulated hours of driving and work, or exceed speed limits and that they have sufficient opportunity for rest and sleep to avoid fatigue. You need to have work practices in place so that vehicles and equipment are kept in good condition and all loads are properly restrained. You should keep records of driver’s activities including driving, working and resting, and check that they are complying with legislation.