Australia, Transport News

Fatigue non-compliance rising in NHVR findings

An operation on the WA and SA border has seen a minor rise in fatigue non-compliance among heavy vehicle operators when compared to a prior, similar review

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has continued to cement fatigue management as a top priority for heavy vehicle operators following the findings of a recent major operation.

The five-day operation on the border of West Australia and South Australia saw an increased presence of authorised officers with the aim of not only enhancing road safety and compliance with vehicle standards, but also to prevent fatigue-related breaches.

Over 480 individual vehicle units were inspected as part of 151 intercepts over the five days.

NHVR Operations Manager Stephen Bryers says while the reduction in mechanical compliance issues is pleasing, the small increase in fatigue-related offences hammers home the need to take the issue seriously.

“Comparing these results to a similar operation we carried out last year in the same area with consistent intercept rates, there was a 14 per cent reduction in mechanical non-compliance offences and a two per cent increase in fatigue matters,” Bryers says.

“It’s pleasing to see mechanical non-compliance decrease so significantly in the space of a year, not to mention a large majority of the mechanical defects identified during this operation were very minor.

“However, the slight increase we saw in fatigue matters only reiterates how important it is for drivers to be vigilant when it comes to complying with their work and rest requirements.

“Throughout the operation, we identified several potential recidivist operators, and officers didn’t hesitate to enforce the HVNL where required for those pushing the envelope on safety, with 16 infringements handed out, in addition to 37 defect notices.

“We want to see safe vehicles, and safe drivers, on our roads.”

NHVR Chief Operations Officer Paul Salvati says fatigue management needs to be a priority in the face of increasing non-compliance numbers.

“Authorised officers undertook 140 mechanical checks, finding a 24.5 per cent rate of mechanical non-compliance, while 138 work diary checks resulted in a 7.3 per cent rate of fatigue related non-compliance,” Salvati says.

“In light of this, we want to remind drivers that adhering to work and rest requirements is something they should be prioritising each and every day – fatigue management isn’t just a legal obligation, it’s critical to ensuring every road user makes it home safely.

“By scheduling rest breaks, keeping accurate work diaries, and taking proactive steps to manage fatigue, drivers can contribute to safer roads and reduce the risk of accidents.”

“This operation was a massive effort by the NHVR’s safety and compliance officers, and authorised officers from MainRoads WA, highlighting the importance of cross border operations.

“Through this collaborative effort we were able to harmonise our regulatory approach and on-road resources to obtain data and intelligence, with heavy vehicle non-compliance identified on both sides of the border.

“The NHVR is focused on sustainable safety practices, rather than handing out prescriptive fines for minor or accidental offences – we want to see long-term change and create a lasting impact that extends beyond our operations.”

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