VicRoads has been clear about its concerns with relation to the 160km work diary exemption which has prompted it to work together with fatigue experts to address the concerns.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) hopes that Victoria’s concerns will soon be overcome so that the work diary exemption can be introduced in the state.
At the moment there are discussions going on between the NHVR and VicRoads on exempting some primary production workers from filling out a work diary. The NHVR is working to try and ease the concerns of VicRoads about the safety implications of the 160km exemption.
The work diary exemption has been introduced in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, allowing drivers carrying out primary production journeys within 160km of their base to do so without having to fill in a work diary.
Sal Petroccitto, NHVR CEO said that the group’s fatigue management experts are working with VicRoads to tackle their concerns so that the exemption can be implemented in the state. He is for the time being, maintaining a positive outlook that discussions will go well.
“I think it is just a little more dialogue with Victoria,” Petroccitto says.
“Industry is very keen to see it introduced so hopefully it will [be].”
He added that those jurisdictions mentioned above where the exemption has been introduced, accepted the NHVR’s findings that the exemption wasn’t a safety risk.
Petroccitto went on to explain:
“We rolled it out across the other jurisdictions, we’ve made an assessment that there wasn’t a safety implication otherwise we wouldn’t have rolled it out,” he says.
“But we respected Victoria’s position and said we would work with them to get them across the line and we’re doing that now.”
Tasmania will introduce the exemption later this month while NSW, Queensland, SA and The ACT have already introduced it. Tasmania will begin to operate under the fatigue management provisions of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and will begin operating under the 160km exemption on 30 March this year.
Last month Andrew Wall, VicRoads director expressed his concerns that the 160km exemption could increase the risk of driver fatigue. At the moment, there is a 100km exemption in place in Victoria instead of the 160km exemption that exists in other jurisdictions.
Petroccitto highlighted the benefits of introducing the 160km exemption in Victoria which includes a reduction in paperwork and improved productivity. He explained:
“We’re not saying that the operator doesn’t have to keep a record, we’re just saying they are removed from having to use the work diary,” he says.
Read more at: http://www.fullyloaded.com.au
CoR Australia offer courses on fatigue management, learn more here.