Qld Government introduces chain of responsibility for IAP

By: Jason Whittaker

The Queensland Government has pushed through its Intelligent Access Program (IAP) legislation which encompasses a raft of chain-of-responsibility provisions to

The Queensland Government has pushed through its Intelligent Access Program (IAP) legislation which encompasses a raft of chain-of-responsibility provisions to force operators to comply with stringent administrative requirements.

Under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Mass, Dimensions and Loading) Amendment Regulation, trucking operators must take "reasonable steps" to provide drivers with extensive information regarding the IAP before the driver begins a journey.

The legislation stipulates 10 steps which include informing the driver they will be monitored, information will be collected and the purpose for which the information will be collected.

Operators must also notify drivers of the name and address of the IAP service provider, that information collected may be disclosed and collection of information is authorised.

Finally, operators need to ensure drivers understand they can access information to ensure it is accurate, as well as explaining how the driver can go about doing so, what the driver’s obligation towards IAP is, and how the driver can make reports as required.

All this must be written as part of a contract between the driver and the operator, which must be placed inside the cab and made visible to the driver all times. Failure to follow this process will result in penalties, with the size of the amount determined by the severity of the breach.

The wording of the contract may be formed by the Transport Certification Australia (TCA), the body responsible for accrediting IAP service providers. If the TCA takes this path, it must put on the IAP website a copy so operators can download it.

The stringent requirements are also backed up by measures which may force operators to devote more time to the administrative running of their business if they sign up to the IAP. Under the legislation, operators will need to maintain records of a non-compliant event for at least four years in case the company is audited.

Furthermore, operators will also be liable if a driver is found to be, or suspected of, tampering with the IAP device. The legislation requires operators to "immediately report the malfunction to the chief executive in person or by telephone, fax or email". This notification must be recorded and stored for at least four years. Failure to do so will result in penalties.

Chain-of-responsibility measures will also apply to the IAP service providers, auditors and the TCA, who will all be forced to take reasonable steps in ensuring the information collected is related to the running of the IAP, is not excessive, and is accurate and complete.

The measure will also extend to privacy matters as well as ensuring all information is protected against unauthorised access, use, misuse, loss, modification or unauthorised disclosure.

The State Opposition, however, says the Government should be focusing more on better roads and facilities rather than chain of responsibility measures.

"If the Government was serious about improving road safety it should be looking at how it can improve driving conditions for the State’s truckies," opposition spokesman on transport Tim Nicholls says.

"Drivers are forced to travel long distances on poor roads where rest stops are few and far between."

Nicholls points to the findings of the Main Roads Guide to Queensland Roads, which found just seven of the 93 heavy vehicle rest areas listed had toilets and running water.

In doing so, he echoes claims made by the industry that the current state of rest areas means operators and drivers will struggle to comply with new fatigue management regulations to come into force on September 30.

"It makes it hard for drivers to comply with fatigue and other laws when they have to sleep in the cab of the truck at rest areas that often don’t meet standard requirements," Nicholls says.

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