VicRoads concerned work diary exemption may undermine fatigue management laws

By: Brad Gardner


Victoria’s transport department believes a 160km work diary exemption may have a negative effect on road safety.

 

Victoria is resisting the adoption of a work diary exemption for the state’s truck drivers due to concerns it may pose a potential fatigue management risk.

VicRoads director Andrew Wall says the department is currently seeking advice from fatigue management experts about the implications of the measure, which exempts drivers from completing a work diary if they are carrying out primary production work within 160km of their base.

Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have all adopted the measure, while Tasmania is due to implement it on March 30.

But there is no certainty it will happen in Victoria.

"While the extension of the exemption to 160km may be appropriate for jurisdictions with large remote areas, VicRoads is concerned that there may be increased risk of driver fatigue impacting on road safety," Wall says.

"VicRoads is also concerned that the proposed extension would apply to a significant sector of the road transport task which would undermine the value of the current requirements for heavy vehicle drivers to complete a work diary and that it may be interpreted as applying to a range of tasks further down the transport chain, such as the transport of grain between silos or to a port, or the transport of primary produce to a market or distribution centre."

Wall says VicRoads is working with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) to address its concerns.

Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) president John Beer last week urged the Victorian Government to move into line with other jurisdictions and will press the matter again when he attends a roundtable meeting of industry and government representatives on February 19.

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