What is the purpose of the Accident Towing Services Regulations?

    The Accident Towing Services Regulations facilitate the safe, efficient and timely provision of accident towing services and impose requirements on tow truck licence holders and tow truck drivers.

    Why are we making changes to the existing regulations?

    In Victoria, regulations expire every ten years. Sunsetting is a mandatory legal process where regulations cease to exist unless action is taken to remake that law.

    This process provides an opportunity to review the existing regulations to ensure they are still required and achieving their objective.

    When was the last review of the Accident Towing Services Regulations?

    The last review of the regulations was in 2008 following the introduction of the Accident Towing Services Act 2007.

    Are there any changes to the way the community request a tow truck if they are involved in a crash?

    No, there will not be any changes that affect the process to arrange for a tow truck.

    What is a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)?

    A Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) is an analytical tool which guides policy development and decision-making. It describes the issue that has given rise to a need for regulation and compares various possible options for dealing with that issue. An assessment of the costs and benefits of each option is included followed by a recommendation by a recommendation supporting the most effective and efficient option. The RIS is released for public consultation. This is the opportunity for the community to comment on the proposed changes and for the government to respond.

    What are the changes related to industry and driver accreditation and licenses?

    The draft regulations contain new rules for basing tow trucks at depots. Currently, tow trucks are required to be usually based at the depot. Under the draft regulations, tow trucks are only required to be based at the depot during business hours.

    The application for relocating a tow truck depot is proposed to be simplified by no longer requiring a written statement from the local council. Council approval will only be required if VicRoads has not received a prior supportive statement from the Council within the past 5 years.

    What are the changes related to vehicle specification and equipment?

    There is a new performance-based standard for warning lights on tow trucks. Under the current regulations, warning lights are required to “have a combined power output of at least 55 watts.” It is proposed that the requirement for warning lights “show a light that is visible in normal daylight from any direction at a distance of no less than 200 metres.”

    What are the changes related to tow truck operations in a controlled area?

    The draft regulations specify the grounds for removing or suspending a person from a place on the road accident scene roster. The existing grounds for the removal or suspension have been retained, but the draft regulations also permit the suspension or removal of an allocated place from the roster if there is an outstanding annual licence fee in respect of a rostered tow truck.

    What are the changes related to tow truck operations?

    The draft regulations provide the owner of an accident damaged motor vehicle with the opportunity to make a payment for an accident towing service by way of cash, cheque, electronic funds transfer, credit card of debit card. Under the current regulations, VicRoads was required to approve payments systems, but this is proposed to be no longer required.

    What are the changes related to enforcement provisions?

    There are no substantial changes being considered to the enforcement provisions in the draft regulations.

    What are the changes related to fees?

    The Department is recommending no changes to annual licences fees.

    The Department is recommending that the application fee for the replacement of a tow truck licence certificate be removed. The cost of issuing a new tow truck licence certificate is less than the fee prescribed in the current regulations.

    Can I give feedback on the proposed changes?

    A regulatory impact statement (RIS) and draft of proposed regulations has been released for public consultation.

    Submissions must be provided to the Department on or before Thursday, 7 November 2019.

    After the consultation period, the Department will consider all feedback received from stakeholders and the community and consider whether any changes to the proposed regulations are required. The Department will make recommendations to the Minister about the final form and content of the regulations for the Minister to make the final decision.

    A public notice on the Minister’s decision will be made, with the new regulations proposed to commence later in 2019.