The chain of responsibility
is a policy concept used in Australian transport legislation
to place legal obligations on parties in the transport supply chain
or across transport
industries generally. The concept was initially developed to apply in the heavy vehicle industry in regulated areas such as speeding
and mass, loading and dimension. It has since spread to other transport sectors, particularly in Victoria
where it has been applied in laws which apply to the rail, bus, marine and taxi industries.
The chain of responsibility concept initially developed out of a recognition that unlawful behaviour by truck drivers
is influenced and often controlled by the actions of other parties. Concerns arose that transport laws had often focussed on the actions of drivers while failing to sufficiently recognise and regulate the actions of other key parties. Chain of responsibility laws therefore seek to provide that these other parties cannot encourage, create incentives for, demand or allow drivers to undertake unlawful actions.
For example: if a truck driver pulls in to a depot and is over his log book hours, but his boss tells him to 'push on' because they need to make the delivery. That boss can be held liable for the driver driving in breach of his log book hours under the fatigue laws.
Chain of responsibility has had an important impact in the transport industry by ensuring that all parties are aware of and understand how their actions... Read More