The Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill, 2015 has been passed and the country’s heavy vehicle and freight operators have welcomed the reductions in red tape which they say will ensure consistency across all participating states and territories.
The Bill aims to achieve consistency in the rules and regulations applied to heavy vehicles, operators and their drivers across the states which have adopted the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
In a recent post on PrimeMoverMag.com.au Chief Executive of The National Transport Commission, Paul Retter said the bill implemented the National Transport Commission’s reforms to allow the use of EWDs (Electronic Work Diaries) instead of the usual written work diaries.
Mr Retter explained that the new laws would assist heavy vehicle drivers to comply with the existing requirements that set the maximum number of hours heavy vehicle drivers are able to work. He explained:
“EWDs make it much easier to comply with the law and stay safe on the road,”
“The heavy vehicle drivers who choose to use an EWD will also receive extra benefits from using them such as receiving alerts when breaks are required.”
According to National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO, Sal Petroccitto, the Bill has a number of amendments that provide a reduction in paperwork and provide a much needed productivity boost to the heavy vehicle industry as well as industries that they support.
Mr Petroccitto said the EWD would address inefficiencies that currently exist in the industry by providing a paperless option for heavy vehicle drivers. He said it would be an effective and efficient alternative. He went on to explain:
“Amendments to the electronic work diary (EWD) requirements were made to enable consistent implementation and deliver productivity benefits to industry. There were also changes made to a number of penalty provisions to ensure harmonisation across industry,”
“EWD differ to existing commercial electronic fatigue management systems as they provide greater flexibility for the mounting national freight task while meeting the driver’s regulatory requirements. Their implementation will facilitate an efficient and effective method of managing fatigue compliance.”
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is working together with industry and partner agencies to improve the heavy vehicle industry, Mr Petroccitto added. He said the aim was to make it safer, more productive and innovative. He explained:
“We are working with industry to develop innovative technological solutions to enhance safety and sharpen productivity outcomes and the EWD is just one of a number of initiatives the NHVR is putting in place to ensure heavy vehicles operate safely on our roads.”
He concluded by explaining that the EWDs provide a more consistent and uniform system for operations across multiple state and territory borders.