Chain of Responsibility – New primary duty penalities

Disclaimer: View this content as general guidance only. When dealing with individual circumstances, please consult the appropriate legal resources.

What Is New – Chain of Responsibility, Primary Duties And The Associated Primary Duty Penalties

By now, you are well aware of the new 2018 CoR direction actively engaged over HVNL transport safety legislation and accountability. At first glance, the concept of Primary Duties may seem more about blame than safety. Such thinking is erroneous. Although it is critical that individuals know and understand their responsibility in the ongoing HVNL safety process, the 2018 changes are not geared to evoke blame but rather they aim for higher excellence in vehicle transport safety. When combined with clearly defined points of responsibility, Primary Duty penalties merely advance the reliability of the process.

Important supplemental reading: How to Keep Construction Equipment Up And Running

So let us begin this discussion of Primary Duty Penalties with a quick comparison between the Previous Regime and the new 2018 Primary Duty legislation:


Current Regime

2018 Legislation

Deemed Liability

Primary Duty

Reasonable Steps

So Far As Reasonably Practical

Onus on Defendant

Onus Returns to Prosecution

Fatigue, Speed, MDL

Vehicle Standards Added

Executive Officers After Corporation

Positive Duty

Focus Upon Driving Breaches

Focus Upon Business Practices


Note the focus on influence, activities and responsible parties. This is the core of the new 2018 CoR laws. If you are in the chain and you have influence over the transport activity, you are a responsible party. And if you are in-the-chain, you are subject to the following associated CoR Primary Duty Penalties. Thus herein are the consequences of error, intentional or accidental, careless or reckless and as a breach of protocol or as a deadly risk factor. 

Chain Of Responsibility – Without Regard To Intentions, What Are The Consequences of Error?

We start by defining the new CoR Primary Duty Penalties. There are three categories, each defined by specific types of deviate behavior and each crafted around various levels of penalties. Herein is the nutshell of it with severity indicated by the degree of penalty:

Category 1 – Recklessness as in actions taken with absolutely no thought or concern toward the safety of others or the laws that govern such. CoR Primary Duty Penalties are:

  • Five years imprisonment, $3 Hundred Thousand, Individual
  • $3m Corporation


Category 2 – Risk of Death/Injury as in severity of the incident. CoR Primary Duty Penalties are:

  • $150 Thousand Individual
  • $1.5m Corporation


Category 3 – Breaches Safety Duty as in failure to comply with established CoR guidelines. CoR Primary Duty Penalties are:

  • $50 Thousand Individual
  • $500 Thousand Corporation

Core Take Away: Chain of Responsibility, Primary Duty Penalties

Get it right. the new 2018 CoR Laws focus on safety within the road transport industry via higher performance within the associated supply chain. It is about proactive risk management and CoR party involvement. And to make it work, all in-the-chain providers must install safety systems that work, eliminate or reduce risks, and that will be practiced and observed under penalty of law.

Effective heavy equipment maintenance and transport software can help your firm avoid the pitfalls. Check here to see how the Assignar 2018 Construction Equipment Management Program can help increase and manage compliance.

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Chain of Responsibility