Western Australian drivers will not be able to use regular rope to secure a load on the back of a vehicle or trailer.
That includes when drivers are taking a load of rubbish to the tip or bringing a bale of hay home on the back of a ute.
New road compliance and enforcement regulations will require drivers to use approved webbing, tie-downs or certified rope (rope which has been endorsed by Australian standards).
The changes to the road traffic act were originally due to come into place in March last year, (2014) but will now apply from April 27 2015. The new laws will bring WA into line with many of the eastern states and should make insurance for trucks cheaper.
Main Roads and the WA Road Transport Association have been travelling around regional WA to explain the changes, which include increased monitoring of load restraint, mass and dimension. WA Road Transport Association chief executive Ian King said one of the biggest changes that regular road users would have to get used to was the outlawing of regular rope. "Having the old piece of rope that you go and buy at the local hardware store, those days have gone," he said.
"It's proper, securing webbing and it just makes it so easy, you pull it, you tighten it and you know it's there. Gone are the days where you can tie off a piece of rope and 100 metres down the road it's a loose load, so therefore it improves the safety aspect of it." But the main changes to road regulation surround the monitoring of chain of responsibility. Mr King said it was a reminder to get processes and audits in place so when the new laws came into effect, if someone was found to be doing the wrong thing, the responsibility could be traced.
"A classic example is if a driver gets pulled over and charged, ultimately, the owner of that business can also get charged under the chain of responsibility," he said. "If you've got your training in place and they do it, well you have your protections in place as well, so it is a chain of responsibility. They are trying to find that weak link and do something about it."
While enforcement officers will be at the ready come April 27 2015 , Main Roads enforcement manager Larry Taya said their focus would be on educating road users, not fining them.
"Education is the main priority," he said. "We will conduct our business as usual, but we will make sure that people or industry are more aware what this whole legislation is all about."
Mr Taya said for more information on the changes people could phone 13 84 86 or visit the https://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/UsingRoads/HeavyVehicles/Compliance/Pages/CoR.aspx.