As those in the transport and logistics industry would know, changes to the chain of responsibility provisions in the Heavy Vehicle National Law are expected to commence on 1 July 2018.

That means transport operators now have just eight weeks left to be ready.

This week we are up to the third in our series of ten tips to help with your last minute preparations.

Tip # 3 – Review your contracts

Section 26E of the new CoR provisions provides that a person must not enter into a contract with the driver of a heavy vehicle or a party in the chain of responsibility that the person knows (or ought reasonably to know) would have the effect of causing the driver, or would encourage the driver, or would encourage a party in the chain of responsibility to cause the driver:

  • to exceed a speed limit applying to the driver; or
  • to drive a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle while impaired by fatigue or in breach of the driver’s work and rest hours option.

It is therefore important that you review your agreements with other parties in the chain, including subcontracting agreements, to ensure that they do not contain provisions that might be considered as providing a party with an incentive to breach the new provisions.

The sorts of clauses in contracts that may contravene section 26E include:

  • unreasonable KPIs that, if breached, could result in the contract being terminated;
  • delivery times or deadlines that are unlikely to be able to be achieved; or
  • liquidated damages that apply in the event of freight being delivered late, regardless of the circumstances or reasons for the delay.

Watch out for tip #4 next week – Managing your CoR compliance paperwork.