Fatigue management is an important road safety issue because a number of road crashes occur each year as a result of driver fatigue. Driver fatigue is a more in-depth issue that we sometimes assume and most often is a result of a lack of sleep, night time driving and working or driving for longer hours than necessary.
According to the Tasmanian Department of State Growth, national fatigue management law will apply locally from 30th March 2015.
Until the new law takes effect, current Tasmanian rules for driving hours record and work diaries will apply.
A statement issued by the Department of State Growth explains:
“Until 30 March 2015, drivers in Tasmania who purchase the new national work diary must complete the work diary according to current Tasmanian legislation and not the new national law, unless driving interstate,” the Department said in a statement.
Tasmania adopted the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) on 10 February 2014 and the national fatigue management law was originally meant to be introduced six months after that but a number of delays were experienced. An article on PrimeMoverMag.com.au explains why the introduction was put off until March 2015,
The fatigue provisions were originally scheduled to commence six months after the introduction of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) in Tasmania, which occurred on 10 February 2014.
However, due to a number of major issues with the new access system developed by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), full consideration of the implementation of the fatigue provisions under the HVNL has not been possible to date.
As of 30 March 2015 national fatigue management law will apply to both drivers and operators of trucks and buses as well as to all parties in the supply chain. The fatigue laws will apply to a truck or combination with a GVM exceeding 12 tonnes, the article on PrimeMoverMag.com.au went on to explain.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator stated on its website that the law covers all aspects of work and rest relating to heavy vehicles. These laws will apply in Tasmania as of March 2015 and include aspects related to:
- work and rest hours
- recording work and rest times
- fatigue management exemptions
- Chain of responsibility obligations.
Ultimately the primary focus of laws for fatigue management is a primary duty. The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) says,
“a driver must not drive a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle on a road while impaired by fatigue. Drivers may be impaired by fatigue even when complying with work and rest limits.”
Chain of Responsibility
Anyone who consigns, packs, loads or receives goods may be held legally liable for breaches of road transport laws even though they are not the one driving the vehicle. Even corporate entities, directors, partners and managers will be held liable for the actions of people under their control, under Chain of Responsibility (COR) laws.
Everyone responsible for the chain of responsibility must take reasonable steps to ensure that the driver of a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle does not drive on a road while impaired by fatigue or breach road transport laws relating to fatigue.
Every person in the chain of responsibility must take the reasonable steps to ensure a heavy vehicle driver can drive without breaching road transport laws.
Fatigue Laws are part of a national strategy introduced to reduce fatigue as a factor road and workplace fatalities. General duty of care legislation requires all parties in the supply chain to take all reasonable steps to prevent the fatigue of heavy vehicle drivers. If you are interested in learning more about fatigue management training click here.