Transport News

NatRoad says recent HVNL case provides urgent reminder

A recent Supreme Court appeal has led to NatRoad reminding members to maintain adequate fatigue systems

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) says members should take note of a recent New South Wales Supreme Court case when it comes to checking fatigue systems.

The NSW Supreme Court decision increased a Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) fine for a transport company due to speed and fatigue offences by a factor of 14 times upon appeal.

NatRoad says a director of a regionally based line-haul operator involved was first fined $6,000 and a manager was fined $3,000 for various speed and fatigue offences.

Both of them entered guilty pleas to contravening their duty under section 26C of the HVNL Act regarding to managing driver fatigue, speed and compliance with work and rest hours.

NatRoad says Transport for NSW appealed the penalties and the Supreme Court found in its favour as it ruled that the original fines were inadequate, meaning they were increased to $210,000.

NatRoad says it makes no judgement regarding the case’s specifics, with the company found to have failed to put in place and maintain adequate systems and practices that manage fatigue.

“We do urge members to have a good look at their systems for managing fatigue, fitness to drive and drive reporting, our advisers can assist,” NatRoad says.

“Generally we have long campaigned for HVNL law changes for more common sense in enforcement and for penalties to match risk.”

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