Have you been issued with an infringement notice under the Heavy Vehicle National Law?
Heavy vehicle offences under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) include exceeding the mass, loading and dimension limits. These particular offences are categorised as minor, substantial or severe.
A severe offence is 20% over the maximum mass, a substantial is 5% over the maximum allowable mass and minor is less than 5% over the maximum allowable mass. Maximum penalties under section 96 range from $4,000 to $30,000. Section 737 also allows for increase of penalties in accordance with the method prescribed by the national regulations.
For dimension a severe offence for length is 600mm, or for width is 80mm, or for height is 300mm or for load projection is 80mm. A substantial offence for length is 340mm, or for width is 40mm, or for height is 150mm or for load projection is 40mm. A minor offence is less exceeding the dimensions by less than the substantial offence limits. Maximum penalties under section 102 range from $3,000 to $10,000. Section 737 applies.
For loading a severe offence is loss or shifting and an appreciable risk, a substantial offence is loss or shifting with no appreciable risk and a minor offence is no loss or shifting and no appreciable risk. The Load Restraint Guide provides assistance. Maximum penalties under section 111 range from $3,000 to $10,000. Section 737 applies.
There are 8 Heavy Vehicle Safety Stations in NSW, including Mt White to the north, Marulan to the south and Mt Boyce to the west. You can also be detected randomly by RMS vehicle inspectors or the police. The main purposes of this part of the Heavy Vehicle National Law are improving public safety and minimising damage to public infrastructure and amenity as provided by section 94. Proceedings must be commenced within 2 years of the offence or within 1 year of becoming aware, but not later than 3 years after the offence, as provided by section 707. A heavy vehicle is a vehicle or vehicle with a trailer over 4.5 tonnes as provided by section 6.
The good news is that you have options if you have been issued with an infringement notice for one or more of these offences.
You can pay the fine, nominate whom the vehicle was leased to (if leased) by statutory declaration or court elect if you have a defence.
The reasonable steps defence under section 618, requires that a person did not know and could not have been expected to know and that all reasonable steps were taken or no steps could be taken. Relevant considerations are covered in sections 619 to 625.
Other possible defences include unauthorised person, deficient vehicle, compliance with direction, sudden or extraordinary emergency and lawful compliance.
Why not contact me NOW for a FREE CONSULTATION to find out your options.
Anthony Stewart, Solicitor