National Compliance and Enforcement Laws
When the Transport Legislation Amendment Act (no. 43) 2007 was passed and the amended legislation commenced, Queensland became part of the reform to achieve national heavy vehicle uniformity and positive changes to the behaviour of all parties involved in the heavy vehicle transport industry.
The introduction of these laws meant that for the first time, all parties in the road transport supply chain – the consignor, consignee, packer, loader and scheduler, drivers, owner-drivers and operators as well as directors, partners and managers – were able to be held responsible for their actions (or inactions) relating to breaches of the road transport, fatigue, speed, mass, dimension and load restraint laws.
These laws apply across all areas in the supply chain where investigations and enforcement into chain of responsibility breaches occur.
The aim of the laws is to make positive changes to the actions of those involved in the heavy vehicle transport industry and to ensure all parties who influence on-road behaviour are held accountable for breaches of road transport laws. This will:
- improve compliance outcomes for road safety, infrastructure and the environment
- minimise the adverse impacts of road transport on the community
- minimise unfair competitive advantage within the heavy vehicle industry.
Chain of responsibility
Everyone in the supply chain – not just the driver or operator – shares the responsibility for ensuring breaches of road laws do not occur. In addition, corporate entities, directors, partners and managers are accountable for the actions of people under their control. This is the ’chain of responsibility’.
If you exercise (or have the capability of exercising) control or influence over any transport task, you are responsible for ensuring road transport laws are complied with.
Chain of responsibility is similar to the legal concept of ‘duty of care’ that underpins occupational health and safety law. Penalties and sanctions under road transport laws will range from formal warnings to court-imposed fines and penalties. Businesses trying to gain an unfair commercial advantage over competitors by compromising road safety standards can be held liable.
Legal liability applies to all parties for their actions or inactions. For specific queries about how chain of responsibility legislation applies to you, consult a solicitor or the Legal Aid organisation in your state or territory.