Transport Compliance PRO

The National Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue and Compliance and Enforcement Reforms being implemented, focus on the management of heavy vehicle driver fatigue. These new national road transport Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue laws to commence on 29 September 2008, set revised work and rest limits for heavy vehicle drivers and require better management of driver fatigue. The reform makes all parties in the supply chain legally responsible for preventing driver fatigue.

In Queensland, Parliament passed the Transport Legislation Amendment Act Number 31 of 2008 on 21 May 2008.  This Bill contained primary elements of the national model Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Bill approved by the Australian Transport Council comprising all transport ministers in November 2007, March 2008 and May 2008.

The Bill was developed by the National Transport Commission following extensive consultation with road transport agencies, the police, the road transport industry, the Transport Workers Union, occupational health and safety organisations and road user organisations.

In Queensland the heavy vehicle driver fatigue reforms and major changes to mass, dimension and loading requirements and freight container transport will be implemented at the same time on 29 September 2008 in line with other States.

Overall the Standard Hours option will suit most businesses. It sets default limits for work and rest. If you need more flexible hours, you can consider applying for Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) or Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) options

Work Diary

A new national driver work diary will replace the current driver log book. You must use the work diary if you are working:

·            under Standard Hours in NSW or Tas (regardless of the distance travelled); or

·            under Standard Hours working more than 100km from your base; or

·            under Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) or Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM).

General Duty

Under the new laws a ‘general duty’ (similar to OH&S laws) requires all parties take reasonable steps to prevent drivers fatigue.

For example, this means:

·               drivers must stop if they are feeling tired or fatigued;

·               operators and schedulers must plan when driver’s rest;

·               a loading manager must take steps to ensure queuing is managed properly; and

·               contracts that require a driver to break the law are illegal.