NHVR approves personal use fatigue exemption

Up to one hour of non-commercial use of a heavy vehicle allowed outside regulated driving hours

NHVR approves personal use fatigue exemption
Petroccitto says operators will have more flexibility.


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has approved an exemption that will allow drivers of fatigue-related heavy vehicles additional time for personal use.

With up to one hour of personal use of a heavy vehicle allowed outside the regulated driving hours, the exemption will offer more flexibility to operators, NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says.

"We undertook extensive consultation with the heavy vehicle industry last September and October on a proposal to allow personal use of a heavy vehicle," Petroccitto says.

"This allows us to expand on a similar scheme which currently exists in NSW to Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT."

The NHVR received 60 submissions during the month-long consultation process, with more than 90 per cent supporting the more flexible arrangements.

The exemption, which comes into effect from February 1, must be used for private or non-commercial activities, such as reaching suitable sleeping accommodation and restocking supplies for a trip.

Permitted personal activities will include, stowing or retrieving personal effects, cleaning a heavy vehicle, refuelling or attending to personal matters.

The exemption will allow drivers to use a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal activities during a 24-hour rest break or at the end of their shift.

"Drivers using the exemption still have a responsibility to manage their own fatigue," he says.

"It is important drivers do not ignore signs of fatigue and stop driving if necessary. 

"The exemption can only be used under standard hours.

"If additional work time is required for commercial needs, drivers and operators should apply for fatigue management accreditation."

For more information, visit the NHVR website.

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