The NHVR has won an appeal in the the New South Wales Supreme Court which has seen a New South Wales based transport company managing director and a scheduler charged for speed and fatigue-related breaches.
The breaches occurred when both the managing director and scheduler failed to ensure adequate systems and procedures were in place to manage driver fatigue, speed and compliance with work and rest hours.
The transport company entered a guilty plea to a Category 2 offence under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and received a $180,000 fine.
The managing director and scheduler were convicted of Category 3 offences under the HVNL and each were fined $15,000.
NHVR Acting Executive Director of Statutory Compliance Belinda Hughes said this was the first Supreme Court judgment for primary duty offences under the HVNL.
“In this case, the Managing Director was found to be a party in the chain of responsibility and was convicted as a scheduler,” Ms Hughes said.
“Schedulers have the responsibility to ensure they are compliant with their primary duty and take the reasonable and practical steps to ensure the safety of their transport activities.
“The judgement highlights that the HVNL operates based on what duties you perform, not the title you hold.
“The sentence sends a strong message to industry that the courts will take breaching your duty to ensure safe transport activities seriously.”
The sentence reflected the changes the company has now implemented, including engaging a health and safety expert to review safety processes to implement additional safe driving plans.
The company has also increased reviews of driver compliance, which has led to an increase in corrective action reports.
To learn more about obligations in the Chain of Responsibility visit: https://www.nhvr.gov.au/cor
The court judgement can be viewed here: https://www.caselaw.nsw.gov.au/decision/184eaae5537f49184c0d6783