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Report Details

Committee Name:

Delegated Legislation Joint Committee (1987 - 2001)


Report Type:Report


Road Traffic Code Amendment Regulations (No 2) 1997
Report No:33
No of Pages:21
Physical Location:Legislative Council Committee Office

Presentation Date:


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Hide details for Executive SummaryExecutive Summary

(1) The Committee notes that in all other States and Territories the regulations refer to the load restraint guidelines set out in the Load Restraint Guide. The relevant standards to be complied with in any prosecution for a loading offence are still the "performance standards" yet there is no reference to the guidelines themselves. The Regulations make no reference to the practical guide which has been developed in conjunction with all State authorities and with industry and which is printed and available as the Load Restraint Guide. The Regulations merely set out "performance standards" which, in the absence of some prescriptive guidance, are not considered readily comprehensible to many who are directly affected.
The Committee recommends that reference is made in the Regulations to the Load Restraint Guide.

(2) It is the Committee’s opinion that, with one exception, the use of the words "in the absence of evidence to the contrary" does not provide a defence to the defendant but clouds the evidentiary burden in proceedings alleging breach of the Regulations. The Committee recommends that the wording is changed to clearly show that the prosecution must prove non-compliance with the "performance standards". The defendant would in any event be entitled to assert compliance. But it must remain with the prosecution alone to negate the defendant’s assertion and prove to the requisite standard non compliance.

(3) The exception referred to above is in relation to regulations 1610A(2)(b) and 1610A(3)(b). These regulations deal with the situation where the load, or a portion of it, has fallen off the vehicle or has become dislodged from the place on the vehicle where it was restrained. It is appropriate in these circumstances for the burden to be placed on the defendant because the loss or movement of a load is prima facie evidence of a breach of the "performance standards".

(4) The remaining concerns of the Committee relate to the lack of clarity in the terminology of the Regulations.

(5) For the reasons given above the Committee seeks the disallowance of the Regulations.