The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released its review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law penalties framework.

The review was based on consultation and feedback from government and industry. It proposes various changes that are intended to make penalties fairer and more consistent across Australia. A complete copy of the report is available here.

The report recommends that the penalties for a number of offences, particularly in relation to fatigue and speed, be increased. For example, it is proposed that the penalty for making a demand that may result in a driver exceeding the speed limit (section 213) should be increased from $6,000 to $10,000.

The NTC did not recommend that maximum penalties be increased for second and subsequent offences. Under section 596 of the HVNL a five-times corporate multiplier applies for maximum court-imposable penalties. This is consistent with the approach in a range of Commonwealth laws. The review considered submissions that this multiplier be reduced for small companies and ‘owner operators’ but ultimately rejected this proposal.