A spokesperson for the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has confirmed the authority has signed off on some important changes to the increase in mass in two-axle buses along with a Class 3 Notice for Victorian operators enabling operators in that state to continue to operate as they were.
Andrew Berkman, the spokesman for the NHVR says the regulator has been consulting with the bus industry along with state and territory governments to provide consistent higher mass limits for two-axle buses with dual tyres to operate up to 18 tonnes as well as ensuring some additional safety features.
“The regulation allows buses in Tasmania, SA and the ACT to operate at increased mass limits, similar to those in Queensland, NSW and Victoria,” said Berkman.
“The existing fleet in Victoria will continue to operate under a continuation of the current exemption, which has been in operation since 2011. In 2019, all new buses in Victoria will need to comply with the additional safety features,” he added.
To operate at increased mass limits operators will need to have additional safety features including anti-lock brake systems, electronic braking systems or electronic stability control depending on the year the bus was manufactured.
The changes are scheduled to come into affect from 1st July, this year and the NHVR has developed three information sheets covering important aspects of the program including, Calculating seating capacity, general information for operators on the mass increase and carrying documents verifying the fitment of extra safety features and another on general information to authorised officers on how to deal with compliance.