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Regulator launches campaign targeting illegal engine remapping

remapping

A new NHVR education campaign will highlight the health and safety risks caused by illegal engine remapping.

The campaign will focus on educating the heavy vehicle industry and public on the harmful effects that engine remapping can have on truckies and logistics workers, as well as communities and the environment.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the campaign was an opportunity for the regulator to work collaboratively with the heavy vehicle industry to remove engine remapping and improve safety.

“The NHVR’s highest priority is safety and we’ll continue to focus on compliance while delivering education and awareness through information like the engine remapping campaign,” Petroccitto said.

“By and large, our industry does the right thing, but occasionally we see unsafe practices occurring and it’s our job as a regulator to lead change.

“Whether you’re an owner, driver, mechanic, part of the supply chain or a light vehicle driver, engine remapping puts everyone at risk.”

The campaign will be delivered in two phases, with an initial focus on the exposure that toxic diesel emissions can have due to engine remapping.  Research indicates that remapped engines can release up to 60 times more pollutants into the atmosphere, which can cause damage to the health and safety of workplaces, communities and the environment.

The second stage of the campaign will focus on remapped engines that disable speed limiter controls. With recent compliance checks indicating up to 10 per cent of all heavy vehicles are operating with illegally remapped engines, the danger is significant and can cause serious injury.

To get the messages across, the NHVR will run a series of engine remapping campaigns across outdoor advertising, publications and via social media.

Federal Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said the campaign was important in helping draw attention to greater health and safety benefits across the heavy vehicle industry.

“You might not immediately realise the dangers of illegal engine remapping, but it’s a serious issue and one that the industry as a whole can control and eradicate,” Buchholz said.

Petroccitto added that with more than 50,000 owners and operators and in excess of half a million heavy vehicles across the country, everyone had a part to play.

“Let’s all clear the air over illegal engine remapping and stop speed limiter tampering in its tracks,” he said.

Penalties for operators, executive officers and individuals caught committing these types of serious criminal offences can be up to $340,000 in fines, or five years imprisonment, up to $3.4m in fines for a company.

For more information on the campaign and to find out more on the risks and penalties, click here.

Engine remapping Q and A for truckies

How do I know if the truck I’m driving has had its engine illegally remapped?

One way you may be able to tell if an emission control system (ECU) has been remapped is if no AdBlue®, a liquid used to reduce harmful emissions, is frequently being added to the truck you’re driving.

If your heavy vehicle is required to have a speed limiter fitted and you can travel above 100km/h, the speed limiter may have been tampered with in these speed zones.

What are the health and safety risks truck drivers face from illegal engine remapping?

A driver’s health can be compromised if they drive a heavy vehicle with a remapped engine as up to 60 times more pollutants are released, compared to compliant engines.

People involved in the heavy vehicle industry who are constantly exposed to high levels of diesel emissions suffer higher rates of diesel-related illnesses, including cancer , heart disease and asthma.

Increased emissions not only have the potential to harm the health of drivers, but also other members of the community, as these pollutants are released into the atmosphere.

What are my obligations as a driver when it comes to illegal engine remapping?

As a driver, you are required to comply with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), and must not:

  • use, or permit to be used, on a road a heavy vehicle that contravenes a heavy vehicle standard applying to the vehicle
  • use, or permit to be used, on a road a heavy vehicle that is not fitted with an emission control system for each relevant emission if and as required by an applicable heavy vehicle standard.
  • tamper with an emission control system fitted to a heavy vehicle.
  • tamper with a speed limiter that is required under an Australian road law or by order of an Australian court to be, and is, fitted to a heavy vehicle.
  • have in your possession a device that is designed, or is adapted, to enable tampering with a speed limiter.

If you suspect your vehicle’s engine has been remapped, you should first raise it with your employer or the operator of the vehicle. The NHVR are very unlikely to take enforcement action in the case of voluntary disclosure of isolated incidents like this, especially where the vehicle is returned to compliance as soon as practicable.

If you suspect your employer has participated in engine remapping, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

The HVCRL’s operating hours are 7am-4.30pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. Calls are free from any landline in Australia and some mobile providers.

If the truck I am driving has had its engine remapped without my knowledge, am I liable?

The NHVR are very unlikely to take enforcement action against drivers where the heavy vehicle has been remapped without their knowledge, except to ensure the vehicle is once again compliant as soon as practicable. If you suspect that your engine has been remapped you should immediately check with your employer or advise the NHVR.

It is an offence carrying significant penalties for your employer to discriminate against you in your employment for raising possible remapping or tampering with them, a union, or a law enforcement agency (including the NHVR).

I have reason to suspect another trucking company has remapped engines. What should I do?

Contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

My employer forces me or other drivers in our fleet to speed. What should I do?

Operators, executive officers and companies pressuring or forcing drivers to speed is in direct contravention of their safety duties under the HVNL.

If you have received a direction you believe poses an immediate safety risk, please contact the police.

Otherwise, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

My employer forces me or other drivers in our fleet to carry out unsafe activity when driving. What can I do?

Your employer has obligations under the HVNL to ensure the safety of their transport activities and eliminate or minimise public risk. If you believe that your employer is forcing you to carry out unsafe activities, contact the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting line (HVCRL) 1800 931 785.

If you have received a direction you believe poses an immediate safety risk, please contact the police.

I’m concerned about the health impacts from emissions caused by illegal engine remapping. Where can I get more information?

If you are experiencing health issues you should contact your GP.

Find out more about the health impacts of emissions with the Safe Work Australia – Guidance for managing the risks of diesel exhaust.

I have other questions about the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and policies. Who can I speak to?

Please contact the NHVR call centre on 1300 696 487.

What is the NHVR doing about emissions caused by illegal engine remapping?

The NHVR is raising awareness of this illegal practice, by providing general advice to those involved in transport activities regarding their obligations under the HVNL and where to seek additional information and assistance.

The NHVR and state or territory police services investigate parties suspected of engine remapping, or who discriminate against parties who properly raise complaints of remapping, and take enforcement action where the necessary evidence is obtained.

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1 Comment

  1. Sal petroccitto would have to be the dumbest person on the face of the planet, how did this insanely stupid flog …sorry, he must know a dumb politician
    Honestly, what rock did they find this dimwit under.

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