Looking at an EWD future
Australia to begin use of EWDs as US drivers baulk
AS THE National Heavy Vehicle Regulator finalises its consultation period on the future of voluntary electronic work diaries in Australia, American drivers are working to fight against the mandate of their use.
Despite the support of the the United States’ largest trade transport organisation, the American Trucking Associations, the mandate of electronic logging devices has come under fire.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been the loudest critic of the legislation which became effective across North America last year – the end result of a decade long push for the mandate.
The OOIDA filed a request asking for the small trucking carriers who could prove consistent safety standards to be granted an exemption.
Instead the carriers hoped they could return to the paper log model for a period of at least five years, to provide necessary time to vet the devices.
The request has received more than 28,000 comments
to date following a call to action in January.
Meanwhile in Australia feedback from industry and drivers alike has remained measured, calling for common sense and functionality.
In a statement to the press following the recent spate of crashes on NSW roads ATA CEO Ben Maguire suggested the ultimate goal of the changes must be flexibility for the driver.
“Industry representatives put the view that voluntary electronic work diaries must enable greater flexibility and individually tailored fatigue management for drivers, who at the moment can’t rest when they are tired because of the prescriptive fatigue rules,” Mr Maguire said.
“Safety regulation is vital, but it has to make a difference and has to be reasonably practicable. Otherwise, it just means that operators spend all their time and money ticking boxes and can’t focus on the big safety picture.”
Driver and road safety advocate Rod Hannifey raised similar points about the use of EWDs in his submission to the NHVR on the matter.
Mr Hannifey has asked for further consideration of a tolerance when it comes to determining the work or rest time recorded.
“I have previously asked for a 30-minute tolerance, even if only twice a week for those days when everything goes bad and all of those things are beyond my control,” Mr Hannifey’s submission read.
“My view is that you must meet us somewhere in the middle or noone will want an EWD.”
At this time no EWDs have been approved by the NHVR for use, however the NHVR expects to start assessment and approvals of EWDs in early 2018.
If you currently have an electronic recording system or are looking to buy one, make sure you talk to the technology provider before making a decision.
ELECTRONIC WORK DIARIES: Drivers and industry say they want flexibility when it comes to the use of electronic work diaries.