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Heavy vehicle speed compliance

On 10 February 2014 the Heavy Vehicle National Law 2012 (HVNL) commenced, replacing existing laws governing the operation of all vehicles over 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) was established to administer the HVNL and is now the first point of contact for the majority of your heavy vehicle business.

Purpose of heavy vehicle speed compliance

Heavy vehicle speed compliance focuses on the chain of responsibility and places obligations on certain parties within the transport chain to ensure their actions or inactions do not cause the driver of a heavy vehicle to exceed any speed limit. The provisions in the legislation are preventative in nature and seek to ensure that business practices do not encourage heavy vehicle speeding.


  • Chain of Responsibility and speed compliance aims to improve public safety by imposing responsibility for speeding by heavy vehicles on all persons whose business activities influence the conduct of drivers of heavy vehicles, not just the drivers and operators. It requires certain parties within the chain of responsibility to take all reasonable steps to ensure that their actions – for example their scheduling, loading or consigning activities – will not cause the driver to exceed a speed limit applying to them and the activities they are undertaking.
  • The particular duties and offences include the business practices and demands of employers, prime contractors and operators; schedulers; loading managers, and certain consignors and consignees. These are the parties who, other than the driver, are most directly responsible for the operation of a heavy vehicle.
  • Parties charged with an offence under this legislation have the benefit of the reasonable steps defence. This means they must be able to establish that they took all reasonable steps to prevent a heavy vehicle speeding offence from occurring.
  • The legislation provides guidance as to what constitutes the taking of reasonable steps for example, taking steps to identify what aspects of their activities might cause a driver to speed and to identify what steps can be taken to avoid or minimise that risk.
More detailed information can be found on the NHVR website.
Last updated
18 February 2016