The use of the Electronic Work Diary will be on a voluntary basis only, Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport, Jackie Trad recently announced.
Trad’s announcement which she made in her second reading comments on the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015, has been welcomed by the Australian Trucking Association.
The Bill was passed by the Queensland Parliament recently.
She made it clear that the use of the EWD would be voluntary and operators would have a choice of whether or not they would make use of the new technology or continue with the traditional paper system .She explained:
“I must stress that the adoption of electronic work diaries is voluntary. It provides operators in the industry with a choice to either adopt this emerging technology or continue, as they currently do, with the paper based system,”
She went on to explain that the purpose of the new system would be to provide flexibility to the industry,
“This is about providing flexibility for the industry to choose the approach that fits best and recognises that there can be significant differences from one road transport operator to another.”
The announcement that the system would be voluntary has been welcomed by the ATA’s Chief Executive Officer Christopher Melham who stated:
“Although electronic work diaries offer great advantages for some businesses, installing them would be an unnecessary cost for small operators and businesses that only operate heavy vehicles occasionally,”
Mr Melham said that even though the EWDs represented a reduction in red tape, the risk of facing an even stricter EWD regulatory regime could put some operators off from adopting the system.
The Heavy Vehicle National Law requires drivers of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles to complete work diaries to record their work and rest hours, and at the moment these work and rest hours are recorded by the driver, by hand. The existing paper work diaries which are handwritten are recorded in 15 minute intervals.
Mr Melham explained:
“The electronic diaries approved under this Bill automatically round to the nearest one minute interval, with a tolerance for small work time breaches of eight minutes in a 24 hour period. There is no tolerance for errors in rest times.
“I welcome the NTC’s commitment to review the treatment of small work time breaches after two years. This review is essential in order to make sure that EWD users are not subject to a stricter regulatory regime than those who use the paper diaries.”
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