Why are we making changes to the existing regulations?

In Victoria, regulations expire every ten years. This means that Traffic Management Regulations will cease to exist unless action is taken to remake that law.

This process provides an opportunity to review the existing regulations to ensure there is still a requirement for them.

What is changing in these regulations?

The regulations are staying largely the same. The main change will involve new fees to process applications and cost recovery for the provision of permits.

There are several minor changes to the drafting of the regulations which are technical in nature.

Other changes in the regulations will:

  • improve police capability to control and manage safety risks for bicycle and foot races on public roads that have less than 30 competitors.
  • reduce red tape by decreasing the number of prescribed traffic control devices that require authorisation by VicRoads.

What new fees will be introduced to process applications?

New fees to process applications for approvals issued by VicRoads are needed because current regulations do not prescribe any fees – the current cost to VicRoads are estimated at $2.7M per annum.

The new fees only apply to an application to VicRoads. Exemptions apply for utilities, providers of public transport and organisers of non-road activities, who will not need to pay the new fee.

The draft regulations provide VicRoads with the capacity to reduce, waive or refund a fee.  The draft regulations do not prescribe fees for services provided by local government, councils make local laws for fees under the Local Government Act.

What changes are proposed to cost recovery?

An increase in fees is proposed for an application to obtain a non-road activity permit, as issued by the relevant road authority (e.g. VicRoads, municipal council). A non-road activity permit allows activities on roads such as shooting a film, a fun run, street market or festival.

Current regulations prescribe a fee value (2018/19 values) of $72. The draft regulations prescribe a fee of $306 to reflect the actual cost of the administrative functions to road authorities.

Current practice is that road authorities waive fees for charity and non-commercial events – approx. 70% of the 2,000 events conducted annually.  The intention is to continue the practice of fees only being paid by those persons that run commercial events for profit (approximately 600 per year).

The proposed regulations provide for all fees to be waived when an event is managed by a charitable organisation registered on the National Register of Charities maintained by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. The proposed regulations also maintain the capacity for road authorities to waive fees applicable to other non-commercial events.

Persons involved in managing non-commercial events who have previously had fees waived should expect that fees will continue to be waived for future events.

How will changes improve police capability to control and manage safety risks?

Organisers of bicycle and foot races on roads will require a permit from the Chief Commissioner of Police. A police permit exempts race organisers and competitors from complying with certain Road Rules. 

The draft regulations remove exemptions for races with less than 30 competitors. 

The aim of making this change is to ensure the police are aware of small-scale races and are able to make judgements about traffic management controls, depending on roads used, time of day and associated traffic conditions. 

Exemptions from Road Rule requirements for conducting a race may not be safe in certain circumstances, irrespective of the number of participants.

Many small race organisers currently apply for a permit despite an exemption under current regulations (police issue approximately 1,000 race permits per annum).

No application fees apply for a police race permit.  Without a police permit, race organisers and competitors must comply with all Road Rules – e.g. bike riders must not ride more than two abreast.

How will the changes reduce red tape?

Major traffic control devices, as prescribed in the regulations, are significant ‘regulatory’ road safety and traffic operational devices which include traffic signals, speed limit signs, stop signs, clearway signs, pedestrian crossing signs, certain turn ban signs, tram, transit and bicycle lane signs.

Current regulations prescribe 63 major traffic control devices.  Only VicRoads can authorise the use of these devices. Following a ‘risk assessment’ on the use of different traffic control devices, it is proposed to take 13 off the list of prescribed devices.

Councils have sufficient technical knowledge and experience to safely and appropriately use these devices.

The reduction in number of prescribed devices reduces the need for councils to seek authorisation from VicRoads before these devices are used for traffic management.

Will people be able to read and comment on the proposed regulations?

Yes, they will. The draft regulations are now available for consultation. The community has until 5pm on Tuesday, 30 July 2019 to provide feedback which will be considered by the Department of Transport for inclusion in the new Regulations. You can provide feedback by sending us a submission on our website.

What is a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)?

A Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) is an analytical tool which guides policy development and decision-making, prepared by VicRoads for regulatory proposal. 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.

When was the last review of the regulations undertaken?

The last review of the regulations was undertaken in 2009.

When do these changes come into effect?

The changes to the regulations will come into effect later this year, 2019.