In­dus­try bod­ies have come to­gether to help the NTC as­sess two fa­tigue-re­lated is­sues within the HVNL

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

IN­DUS­TRY BOD­IES have come to­gether to help the Na­tional Trans­port Comis­sion (NTC) as­sess two fa­tigue-re­lated is­sues within the Heavy

Ve­hi­cle Na­tional Law (HVNL). The two con­cerns, brought to the NTC’s at­ten­tion last year, are tran­si­tion­ing be­tween two-up and solo driv­ing; and man­ag­ing fa­tigue out­side of par­tic­i­pat­ing states. The Na­tional Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (NatRoad), the Western Roads Fed­er­a­tion and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion have sub­mit­ted a joint sub­mis­sion to the NTC, cit­ing a lack of clar­ity within the HVNL.

NatRoad chief ex­ec­u­tive War­ren Clark says the first is­sue was raised by NatRoad mem­bers who were be­ing fined when tran­si­tion­ing from two-up driv­ing back to solo.

“Based on the cur­rent law, driv­ers op­er­at­ing un­der a two-up ar­range­ment are un­able to tran­si­tion to solo driv­ing un­less they are fully com­pli­ant with solo work and rest hours or com­plete a re­set rest break of 48 hours plus two con­sec­u­tive night breaks,” Clark ex­plains. “This means that there is no in­cen­tive for driv­ers to op­er­ate un­der a two-up ar­range­ment.

“We be­lieve a na­tion­ally agreed pol­icy or a leg­isla­tive amend­ment is needed for reg­u­lat­ing work and rest hours when tran­si­tion­ing be­tween two-up and solo driv­ing. “

Sec­tion 245 of the HVNL re­quires driv­ers trav­el­ling in or out of Western Aus­tralia and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory within a seven-day pe­riod to com­ply with HVNL fa­tigue laws, which can cause con­fu­sion.

North­ern Ter­ri­tory Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Louise Bi­lato says some op­er­a­tors based out­side of NT as­sume that the fa­tigue re­quire­ments when they en­ter the state are less strin­gent than the HVNL scheme.

“The NT maintains a per­for­mancebased ap­proach to man­ag­ing driver fa­tigue un­der its work health and safety laws,” Bi­lato ex­plains.

“Our sub­mis­sion does not in­tend to de­bate whether the HVNL is su­pe­rior or in­fe­rior to the fa­tigue man­age­ment re­quire­ments in the NT or WA, how­ever, the dif­fer­ent in­ter­pre­ta­tions of safe work and rest hours has cre­ated con­sid­er­able ad­min­is­tra­tive com­pli­ca­tions for the in­dus­try and for reg­u­la­tors.”

NatRoad hopes the feed­back will in­flu­ence a more ap­pro­pri­ate so­lu­tion to the prob­lem ar­eas, and Clark re­minds us the HVNL is due for re­view later this year.

“Given that the NTC has con­firmed a com­plete re­view of the HVNL will be com­menced later in 2018 and com­pleted by the end of 2019 we an­tic­i­pate that our feed­back and rec­om­men­da­tions will be used to in­form more ef­fec­tive, in­terim, ar­range­ments,” he says.

The Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor (NHVR) wel­comes feed­back around the prob­lem ar­eas, high­light­ing the num­ber of years the cur­rent sys­tem has been in place.

“We wel­come in­dus­try feed­back on a re­view of the fa­tigue pro­vi­sions of the Heavy Ve­hi­cle Na­tional Law,” an NHVR spokesper­son says. “Fa­tigue laws haven’t changed for many years and we look for­ward to re­ceiv­ing feed­back from NTC and heavy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try around these sec­tions of the fa­tigue laws.”

War­ren Clark

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