Drivers compliant, but fatigue crackdown coming

Drivers are keeping to their hours and are in possession of work diaries in Victoria, police say, but crackdowns are coming

By Samantha Freestone

Drivers are keeping to their hours and are in possession of work diaries just one week after the September deadline for new fatigue laws in Victoria.

Victoria Police’s Superintendent for the traffic support division, David Newton, says all reports from his safety taskforce are positive so far, although officers have been lenient in the first few days.

"Our focus is clearly that they have hours and they understand the difference between work and rest but we will not be giving them a chance if they are out of hours," he tells ATN.

"The log books are now finished, the work diaries are there to be picked up."

Newton says police have given drivers the benefit of the doubt if they said they hadn’t had an opportunity to pick up the new standard diaries from VicRoads offices, but that time has come and gone.

"We are taking a common-sense approach and we understand there are [mitigating circumstances]. We are being reasonable," he says.

He says his team will be focusing on the Hume Highway, the Western Highway and the Goulburn Highway as target areas and that several large operations have been planned in the months leading up to Christmas.

Roadside officers will be looking very much at the "fatigue side of things" and focusing on drugs as it is "an on-going issue in the industry", Superintendent Newton says.

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