New standards to make Australian trucks safer

4 October 2023
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) welcomes the announcement by the Australian Government of increased width limits for trucks fitted with the most modern safety technologies. The Safer Freight Vehicles package will see an increase to the overall width limit from 2.50 to 2.55 metres for new trucks fitted with several safety features.

These new features include devices to reduce blind spots, electronic stability control, advanced emergency braking, lane departure warning systems, better reflective markings, and side guards to better protect vulnerable road users.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto OAM said the regulator had long advocated for increased harmonisation of Australian vehicle standards with global standards. “These changes will allow manufacturers to bring their latest designs, fitted with a full suite of safety and environmental technologies, to market in Australia,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“Several years ago, the NHVR identified current width limits as a barrier to the take up of safety technologies in our Vehicle Safety and Environmental Technology Uptake Plan (Vehicle SETUP). “We have been working with the Commonwealth, our partners and industry to explore how we can enact change to align with international standards and promote the highest possible level of safety.

“The changes introduced by the Safer Freight Vehicles package will ensure the safest vehicles are available in Australia – helping to keep drivers, pedestrians and all road users safe.” The NHVR will continue to work with the National Transport Commission and Governments to reflect the new changes in the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The changes announced also remove dimension barriers that prevented heavy vehicle operators voluntarily fitting optional safety features to their vehicles, such as mirror and camera systems. “Heavy vehicle operators have shown they are proactive in taking up safety features, but sometimes regulations have stood in their way. The changes made today by the Australian Government remove these barriers and support improving road safety.”

These changes will help ensure manufacturers and owners are not disadvantaged by fitting trucks with these road safety technologies.

To learn more about the Safer Freight Vehicles package, click here