New oversize/overmass escort vehicle driver scheme to benefit industry

29 June 2016

Changes to the way oversize and over mass vehicles travel across NSW will be introduced from next month as the first stage of the Oversize Overmass Escort Vehicle Driver Scheme (OSOM EVDS) starts in the Hunter Valley.

“The new scheme will allow private operators to apply for accreditation to escort over size over mass vehicles as they travel throughout the state,” Roads and Maritime Services Director Safety and Compliance Jo Treacy said.

“Up until now, these services have only been provided by NSW Police. A greater pool of appropriately trained and accredited service providers will deliver the heavy vehicle haulage industry a more flexible range of services with improved efficiency.

“Businesses can apply to be accredited as service providers and individuals can apply to be authorised as escort vehicle drivers to accompany these large, oversized moves and perform traffic control duties.”

Ms Treacy said Roads and Maritime has carried out extensive engagement with industry to ensure they are aware of the opportunity to provide these services.

“Safety has been at the core of the development of the scheme with stringent requirements for applicants to demonstrate they have the skills and experience to manage vehicles along these journeys,” she said.

“Applicants seeking to become authorised escort vehicle drivers will be required to carry out specialised training including six specific competency modules through registered training providers.

“The program will be rolled out in stages starting in areas where freight demand is high.

“Many heavy vehicle trips start and end in the Hunter Valley, especially at night, which is why it has been chosen for the first stage of the program.

“Phase two will see the scheme roll out to the Western regions of NSW where much of the state’s agricultural OSOM freight task is carried out.”

The scheme is supported by an extensive information campaign starting next month which will encourage road users to follow the directions of the escort vehicle drivers and encourage safer driving behaviour around OSOM vehicles.

Participants will be able to join the scheme free of charge in the first two phases with accredited providers to fund their own operating costs including any purchase of vehicle, signage, lighting and livery.

The scheme will involve Class 1 OSOM vehicles under the Heavy Vehicle National Law. A vehicle or vehicle combination is considered to be OSOM if it exceeds any general access mass or dimension limits and is carrying or designed to carry a large indivisible load.

For more information on the scheme visit the Escort accreditation scheme.

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