New legislation: Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) & Regulations

The new Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and Regulations commenced on 10 February 2014 in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. The  National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) will now be looking after one rule book for all heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass.

Prior to the new legislation differences between the heavy vehicle road transport laws in each state and territory made it difficult for operators to navigate the rules and comply with the sometimes inconsistent jurisdictional requirements. The NHVR aims to deliver a significantly wider range of services, with a view to evolving into a one-stop-shop for heavy vehicle road transport business with government.

Some aspects of heavy vehicle regulation shall remain unchanged including:

  • heavy vehicle registration,
  • inspections,
  • policing and authorised enforcement of heavy vehicle offences,
  • driver licensing,
  • all matters related to the carriage of dangerous goods (responsibility of the relevant state and territory authorities), and
  • legal and court processes will largely remain as they are.

The Act includes four regulations as follows: