Safer Trailers on the Road

Media Release


12 January 2014

New rules mandating safer brakes on new heavy trailers will come into law from July 2014.

Recently I signed off on a new Australian Design Rule which requires Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) or load proportioning brake systems to be installed on new heavy trailers.

The change to safety standards for heavy trailers will complement the recent mandating of ABS for new heavy trucks and buses, scheduled to commence at the same time.

This move will bring more modern and safer braking systems into the Australian heavy vehicle fleet.

ABS can greatly improve heavy vehicle stability in emergency situations and in instances of wheel lock up.

In fact, the new rules are expected to save over 50 lives on Australian roads over 30 years.

The new standards will cover the bulk of the new fleet, while being flexible for certain types of trailers.

The Australian Government has worked closely with peak industry bodies on the changes, and we will continue to help industry in developing a code of practice so that operators can optimise the performance of different braking technologies when combining trucks and trailers together.

The mandating of ABS or load proportioning brake systems on all new heavy vehicles and trailers represents the completion of the first phase of the National Heavy Vehicle Braking Strategy.

In line with the National Road Safety Strategy, the next phase of work will consider even more advanced braking technology such as Electronic Stability Control.