Fatigue management in spotlight as drivers reminded of risk

NHVR, Qld police in various compliance campaigns

Fatigue management in spotlight as drivers reminded of risk
A Qld Police image from the operation


Enforcement is targeting heavy vehicle driver fatigue in the lead-up to Easter, with recent examples from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and Queensland Police emphasising that focus.

The NHVR has launched a ‘Focus on Fatigue’ campaign for drivers before a usually busy Easter period, while Queensland Police reports a fatigue-management compliance operation that took place in a remote region of the state.

The NHVR campaign to be rolled out will involve "messages from real drivers passing on information and solutions to avoid the risks of driving fatigued", CEO Sal Petroccitto says.

"Fatigue will be a major focus for heavy vehicle operators, particularly in the lead up to a major holiday period, such as Easter," he says.

"The NHVR will use online messages and videos of drivers, such as Rod Hannifey and Bruce Dodds, sharing their personal experiences and advice to encourage other drivers to avoid the risks of driving tired.

"There were 175 fatalities involving heavy vehicles and buses in Australian roads in 2018 and, while it’s encouraging to see that the annual toll is reducing, one death is one too many.

"With additional traffic and freight movements over the coming weeks, it’s important for all heavy vehicle drivers to be able to recognise the signs of fatigue and that they may be impaired by fatigue even when complying with work and rest limits."

The NHVR’s additional effort in this space is a $250,000 investment into studying the effects of into fatigue monitoring technology.

Read more about that study, and the consortium conducting it, here

"We are calling on industry to make sure their drivers are fully aware of the signs of fatigue and the absolute necessity to take their breaks," Petroccitto says.

The NHVR has appealed to drivers who feel pressured to drive while fatigued to call its Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line on 1800 931 785.

The Focus on Fatigue campaign will also include a range of compliance activities and information on future fatigue requirements over the coming month.

A separate compliance activity was undertaken by Queensland Police on March 14, by officers from the Thargomindah and Eulo stations, "in a bid to combat fatigue management in remote south-west Queensland, close to the South Australian border", it says.

"This particular patrol was in response to the fact that heavy vehicle traffic crashes are at a higher rate than the norm over the last decade."

Police reports the remote operation detected 13 offences, ranging from failing to keep work diary through to using/permitting use of an unregistered trailer with three or more axles. The largest fine issued was $1,566 for an uninsured prime mover.

"The message is clear though, National Heavy Vehicle Law enforcement is borderless and the bigger vehicle you have, the bigger your responsibility is to the safety of yourself and all other road users, no matter where you are."


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