Overdimension Overmass and Special Vehicles B Doubles and Performance Based Standards Vehicle Access on Local Roads
Vehicles carrying oversize or overmass loads, B Doubles, Performance Based Standard Vehicles and other specialised heavy vehicles require approval to travel on Horsham Rural City Council's local road network.
To apply for access, Council's local roads transport operators are advised to contact the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.
Transport operators whose vehicles are identified as traveling "off route" are subject to significant penalties and Council may seek to recover damages under the Road Management Act,Section 112.
Details on heavy vehicle categories and required permits can be found on the National Heavy Vehicle Regulators website at www.nhvr.gov.au.
Local Roads deemed unsuitable for Heavy Vehicles access can be found on the VicRoads website.
2021 Heavy Vehicle Load Breach
Council will undertake a training program for staff and contractors who operate heavy vehicles as part of its commitment to transport safety.
The training is part of an enforceable undertaking following a contravention of the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
Details of the undertaking to NHVR entered into by Council are published on the NHVR’s website.
In July 2021, a Council employee drove a heavy vehicle with a weight that exceeded the allowable mass for that vehicle. The overloaded vehicle was detected by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), and found to be in breach of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
Council regrets this overloading incident, and apologises to the NHVR and the public that this situation arose.
As part of its commitment to redress for and learn from this incident, Council has entered into an enforceable undertaking with the NHVR, so that this incident is not repeated. This commitment includes updating Council’s chain of responsibility system, training of relevant staff and contractors, and public awareness of the incident and the measures committed to by Council.
In July 2021, Council hired a truck from a private company to facilitate its road maintenance program.
Council had mistakenly relied on the load limits displayed on the door of the vehicle, and had not checked that these limits were correct. As a result, during Council’s use of the vehicle, the NHVR detected that the steer axle of the vehicle had been overloaded by 1.6 tonnes.
Council accepts that it has its own responsibility to ensure that it complies with the statutory load limits, and cannot necessarily rely on information provided by others in this regard.
As an initial response to the incident, Council promptly arranged for all relevant Council vehicles to be weighed and confirmed their allowable load limits.
Council is committed to complying with its obligations under the HVNL, with a foremost commitment to the health and safety of its employees and all who live, work and visit the municipality.
While Council did not intentionally breach the HVNL, it accepts that the load on the vehicle overburdened the steer axle of the vehicle in the July 2021 incident, and accepts that weight limits are set for a reason, and driver and community safety is the foremost consideration of the HVNL.
Council also makes the following commitments:
- Ensuring that the behaviour that led to the incident has ceased and that it will take all reasonable steps to prevent recurrence.
- The ongoing effective management of public risks associated with transport activities within its municipality.
- Ongoing continuous improvement in how it manages risks associated with its business operations, including the review of new technology where available.
- Dissemination of information about the enforceable undertaking to management, employees and other relevant parties in the chain of responsibility.
Council has engaged a heavy vehicle / chain of responsibility specialist company to review and update Council’s chain of responsibility policy and systems to ensure compliance with the HVNL, including in relation to:
- Mass management and control
- Load restraint
- Speed control
- Fatigue management
- And other measures.
This company will also develop and implement a training program in all aspects of the chain of responsibility. This training program will be delivered to all relevant staff in Council. The program will also be offered to selected, relevant contractors that Council regularly uses, as part of Council’s commitment to transport safety in the broader community. This program will be delivered in the latter part of 2022. While Council will contact a range of contractors, other contractors who consider they may benefit from Council’s program are invited to contact Council to determine if there is an opportunity for them to participate in Council’s program.
Council will also publish in various media information about this incident and the measures taken to redress for the incident, so that others may benefit from Council’s learnings and may take advantage of Council’s experiences.