ATA’s EWD stan­dards call

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

NHVR told elec­tronic work di­ary fa­tigue reg­u­la­tions un­re­al­is­tic

THE AUS­TRALIAN TRUCK­ING

AS­SO­CI­A­TION ( ATA) will not sup­port the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor’s draft stan­dards for vol­un­tary elec­tronic work diaries ( EWDs) un­til their fa­tigue reg­u­la­tions be­come more re­al­is­tic, a spokes­woman says.

ATA safety and skills ad­viser Melissa Weller says the NHVR’s draft pol­icy frame­work and stan­dards for the EWDs, de­vel­oped to mon­i­tor driver move­ments, were more fo­cused on en­force­ment than achiev­ing safety out­comes. In its sub­mis­sion to the NHVR, the ATA said any roll­out of vol­un­tary EWDs should not pro­ceed un­til fa­tigue reg­u­la­tions had been amended to al­low for re­al­is­tic tol­er­ances, such as hu­man er­ror or mi­nor truck move­ments.

“The cur­rent NHVR draft pol­icy and stan­dards of­fer in­suf­fi­cient tol­er­ances and no flex­i­bil­ity, leav­ing driv­ers ex­posed to pros­e­cu­tion for in­con­se­quen­tial tech­ni­cal breaches that will have no im­pact on safety,” Weller says. “The ATA be­lieves the pri­mary aim of EWDs must be to in­crease in­dus­try safety through bet­ter fa­tigue man­age­ment by aid­ing driv­ers in achiev­ing com­pli­ance – not to in­crease en­force­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

The ATA also re­stated its op­po­si­tion to a NHVR pro­posal that would see an EWD pro­vide a 28- day list of ev­ery mi­nor breach to en­force­ment of­fi­cers when a ve­hi­cle was checked.

“The pol­icy will not im­prove safety and ef­fec­tively means that EWD users would be sub­ject to more strin­gent rules than writ­ten work di­ary users,” the ATA sub­mis­sion says.

The ATA also ar­gued that more should be done to in­crease the quan­tity, ca­pac­ity and qual­ity of driver rest ar­eas be­fore vol­un­tary EWDs were rolled out.

The NHVR had re­leased a draft EWD Pol­icy Frame­work and Stan­dards in late De­cem­ber last year, with a plan to com­mence for­mal as­sess­ment and ap­provals of EWDs in early 2018 – draft­ing a stan­dard that all such sys­tems must meet.

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