The following description was taken from Kim Hassall: Safety and Productivity Observations on a Billion Kilometres of Travel by Australian Trucks using the ‘Performance Based Standards’ schemes
Since the concept of Performance Based was first proposed in Australia, in 1997, by the then National Road Transport Commission, several hundred vehicles that used these new ‘engineering standards’ were commissioned, between 1998 and 2006, under State based permit systems. In 2006 a more formalized regulatory PBS framework was put in place and since that time the population of PBS vehicles has expanded to nearly some 7000 units by early 2018. However, even though the Australian PBS ‘trial’ is now some twenty years old, there are still many major national road networks that are yet to have access granted for these vehicles, and still an endemic perception remains that ‘bigger vehicles are bad’. In 2014 and 2017 two comprehensive studies were conducted that statistically proved PBS vehicles to be significantly safer, more productive and environmentally friendlier than the conventional Australian heavy truck fleet. This paper specifically examines the safety and productivity aspects of the Australian PBS fleet over the period 2009 – 2016 which confirms the safety and operator benefits of these vehicles.