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I M PA C T S O F P R I C I N G O N I N T E R U R B A N F R E I G H T T R A N S P O RTAT I O N 45 For example, a particular type of axle might be limited to 3. The Intelligent Access Program, which is developing carrying a set mass. This type of rule provides a blunt, ways of using vehicle-tracking technologies to monitor the indirect means of limiting the amount of pavement wear route compliance of heavy vehicles on Australian roads. a vehicle can produce and may also be used as an indirect This approach provides greater confidence that vehicles use means of ensuring that the vehicle is stable and safe. the roads they are meant to use. It provides a mechanism to As a result of these blunt rules, the approach in Aus- allow more extensive access for vehicles operating outside tralia, as in other countries, to pricing road wear has the norms of the vehicle fleet, such as mobile cranes, vehi- been to rely on aggregate systems rather than to measure cles operating under mass concessions, dangerous goods the vehicle's use and resulting road wear directly and vehicles, or other specialized or innovative vehicles. price it accordingly. The Australian road pricing system for heavy vehicles aims to fully recover their share of As a result, we are now in a position to start examining road construction and maintenance costs through a two- more flexible approaches to regulating road use, but they part pricing system comprising a fuel charge and fixed will be acceptable to infrastructure managers and the com- annual registration charges that vary by vehicle type and munity only if they are accompanied by variable pricing size. The prices are based on average utilization for each arrangements. By the same token, other interest groups will class of vehicle--average mass, average distance trav- seek and accept variable pricing systems of this type only if eled, and average fuel consumption rates. there is a change to more flexible regulatory approaches. Consequently, we, like others, have not had to develop The following are examples of more flexible regula- a good understanding of the relationships between road tory arrangements: use and infrastructure costs. More research in this area would be useful, but for the time being we in Australia Allowing heavy vehicles to choose what mass to have relied on the original American Association of State operate at, within safety limits; Highway and Transportation Officials tests of the fourth- Allowing heavy vehicles broader access to a range of power law to estimate the pavement wear contribution of roads or routes from which they are presently restricted; different axles and loads, with load equivalencies derived An improved method for managing the impacts of from a system of measurement different from that used in land use changes that could necessitate additional heavy pavement design. However, this approach provides little vehicle road use and create consequent impacts on the understanding of the variations that can result from dif- transport infrastructure; and ferent pavement designs, traffic levels, and environmental Applying pricing to allow optimum use of multi- conditions. The European National Highway Research ple transport modes in the total supply chain from ori- Laboratories COST 334 project has advanced under- gin to destination by accurately charging for the road standing of a number of issues, but many questions link in the transport chain. remain. While the long-standing blunt, prescriptive approach The mechanisms to allow this type of incremental to regulating road use creates little incentive to shift pricing system in Australia are currently being developed away from a broad, aggregated approach to pricing, and analyzed. The appropriate design is expected to be Australia is gradually making this shift. There are three chosen over the coming 12 months, with work following main planks to this new, less prescriptive approach: to put the new system in place by around 2006. With these developments, Australia will be in a posi- 1. Development of a performance-based approach to tion to consider whether broader social costs of road regulating safety and infrastructure outcomes of heavy use should be incorporated in the pricing arrangements. vehicles. The new approach will operate as an optional Inclusion of these other costs in the calculation would alternative to prescriptive mass, dimension, and config- represent a significant shift in the objectives of a pricing uration rules for the time being. It directly specifies the approach, which would need to be carefully considered safety and infrastructure outcomes that vehicles are to ensure that the resulting pricing system is best suited required to achieve. to the objectives to be achieved. 2. A broad range of compliance and enforcement reforms that attempt to put in place an enforcement strat- egy that aims to promote compliance. The reforms sepa- EFFECTS OF PRICING ON TRUCKS IN rate offenses into risk bands depending on the potential THE UNITED STATES negative impacts of noncompliance and make available a commensurate range of penalties. These provisions have Darrin Roth no precedent in Australia or overseas and will oblige all parties in the supply chain to take steps to prevent a The American Trucking Associations is a national fed- breach of the road transport mass and loading laws. eration representing the trucking industry. Its views on