The expected benefits of the Operator Rating System (ORS) include:
a reduction in heavy vehicle crashes and associated social costs due to the improved compliance that will result from targeted enforcement
fairer and more effective enforcement throughout the transport industry, which will lead to a more level playing field
operators improving their standards and using a good rating in their marketing and promotion to allow consumers to make an informed choices.
Improved safety on the roads benefits everyone. If you're a heavy vehicle operator, you'll see the benefits of a better bottom line through reduced long-term vehicle costs, and fewer fines and offences.
The ORS is estimated to reduce the social costs of at-fault heavy vehicle crashes by about 6% each year by 2021 (as identified in Safer Journeys – the government's strategy for road safety, 2010–2020). Safer vehicles and safer driving behaviour will contribute to safer roads.
The number of fatal crashes involving a truck (for every 100 million kilometres driven by trucks) has more than halved since the early 1990s and we hope to see this improve further.
Because of their mass, trucks tend to be over-represented in serious crashes.
To improve safety on the roads, the ORS enables the NZ Transport Agency and New Zealand Police to target to risk. It is one of the tools the Transport Agency and the Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit (CVIU) use to identify potentially higher-risk operators for assistance and advice, and possibly further investigation, to improve their safety practices.
Over time, safe operators will receive fewer visits by our inspectors and are less likely to be stopped at the roadside.
Being five-star indicates an operator is compliant with safety legislation. A downward trend in an operator's score or rating could trigger concerns. Transport Agency staff are there to provide advice and assistance to operators and can help if an operator has concerns over a downward trend in their rating.
The Transport Agency is moving to requiring its state highway contractors to have a certain minimum standard ORS rating. It's also encouraging other government agencies and councils to do the same. Other organisations, for example finance and insurance companies, have indicated that, over time, they will be interested in an operator's rating when it comes to setting fees and levies. A good rating can only be to an operator's advantage.