No details, but fatigue change 'very soon'

VicRoads will not confirm date for changes to fatigue management time counting rule, but says reform "is expected very soon"

By Brad Gardner | November 7, 2011

Victoria has overshot its deadline to bring its fatigue management law into line with Queensland and NSW, but insists an announcement is imminent.

South Australia last week confirmed it would amend its time counting rule under fatigue laws to mirror the system used in NSW and Queensland. Transport ministers earlier this year agreed to implement a single time counting model.

Victoria originally planned to amend its scheme by the end of October. The new time counting rule will begin in South Australia in South Australia on Thursday, November 10.

"An announcement about the change is expected very soon. VicRoads has been working closely with South Australia to synchronise the change," VicRoads’ Director of Vehicle Management and Safety, Don Hogben, says.

"The Victorian laws for heavy vehicle driver fatigue management are being amended following an agreement by the Australian Transport Council in June 2011 to alter the ‘counting time’ provisions."

The time counting differences mean drivers can simultaneously be compliant with fatigue laws in NSW and Queensland while committing breaches in South Australia and Victoria.

The Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) began agitating for reform after the driver of one its members was hit with a number of breaches when entering Victoria despite being compliant while driving through Queensland and NSW.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) successfully defended two of its members in South Australia who were caught out in a similar case.

Queensland and NSW enforcement officers count forward from a major rest break to determine if a driver has committed breaches in a 24-hour period, while South Australian and Victorian officers count time from any rest break.

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