How can I show I have taken reasonable steps and present a defence?

There are no restrictions on the ways in which a person can demonstrate that they took reasonable steps; reasonable steps will vary depending on circumstances.  Training your staff is one of the key ways. Courses from the Transport Logistics and Industry Skills Council are accredited and industry developed.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulation States:

Reasonable steps are the actions people can take to ensure that heavy vehicle drivers do not drive in contravention of road transport laws.

A person in the supply chain can claim a ‘reasonable steps’ defence if they can show they did not know or could not reasonably have been expected to know that a breach had occurred.

In making a ‘reasonable steps’ claim a person would also have to prove:

  • they took all reasonable steps to prevent the breach, or
  • there were no reasonable steps they could have taken to prevent the breach.

For the defence to be successful, ALL reasonable steps must have been taken – not just some.

People in the supply chain may also be found not liable for a heavy vehicle offence if they can establish that at the time of the offence the vehicle was being used by:

  • an employee who was acting outside the scope of his or her employment
  • an agent (in any capacity) who acted outside the scope of the agency
  • another person who was not entitled to use the vehicle.

Business practices must include methods to identify, assess, control, monitor and review situations that put driver safety at risk.

This includes the development of a Chain of Responsibility Management Plan for each organisation.

For more information on the development of a COR Management Plan – CLICK HERE