Regulator releases safety feature guide for wider trucks

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has released Vehicle Standards Guide 35 (VSG 35), which provides guidance on the safety features required to be fitted to a heavy vehicle in order to be allowed general access at 2.55m under the Safer Freight Vehicle (SFV) reforms.

These reforms are the result of a successful campaign by industry to increase the number of vehicle models in Australia which have advanced safety features such as Advanced Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning Systems and Blind Spot Information systems, Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) said.

“The cost of re-engineering imported heavy vehicles to meet the narrower Australian widths was a significant barrier to adoption,” HVIA added in a recent newsletter.

“HVIA made the case to the government which paves the way for an increase in the range of these vehicles available in Australia.”

Earlier this week, the NHVR said it will also now start working with key industry associations to develop a process to allow existing vehicles already in-service to be certified as Safer Freight Vehicles, given only new vehicles are currently eligible. This process is expected to be finalised in early 2025.

To be a SFV truck or prime mover it must be fitted with:

ADR 14/03 – Devices for Indirect Vision

This includes requirements for additional mirrors to be fitted as a mandatory requirement, including a blind spot mirror that shows the area beside the passenger side of the cabin (Class V), across the front of the cabin (Class VI or Crossover) as well as larger side rear vision mirrors.

ADR 35/07 – Commercial Vehicle Braking Systems

This is the current version of the heavy vehicle braking standard, and requires smart features such as anti-lock braking as well as vehicle stability control to be fitted.

ADR 97/00 – Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB)

AEB is a modern safety technology that helps reduce inlane frontal collisions by scanning the area in front of the vehicle and warning the driver of potential collisions. The system can also intervene and slow the vehicle if the driver does not respond.

ADR 99/00 – Lane Departure Warning Systems

Lane departure is a warning system that gives a warning to the driver when they are getting close to leaving their lane.

ADR 105/00 – Blind Spot Information Systems (BSIS)

[only for vehicles with a GVM over 8t from November 1, 2025 for new model vehicles, and February 1, 2027 for all vehicles]

BSIS is an advanced blind spot system that senses the area along the passenger side of a vehicle and provides a visual and audible warning to the driver if another road user is detected, such as cyclists or pedestrians.

ADR 106/00 – Side Underrun Protection

Side underrun protection (SUP) is a physical barrier installed in large gaps along the side of a truck to reduce the chance of other road users falling under the sides and being caught under the wheels. SUP is only required on rigid trucks.

Conspicuity markings complying with ADR 13/00

Conspicuity markings are an improved form of markings intended to highlight the size of a heavy vehicle and make it more visible at night or in low-light situations, like rain or fog. These markings are an upgrade to rear marking plates that are used on most vehicles. Conspicuity markings are not mandatory on prime movers.

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