We wont target petty logbook offences: QLD

By: Jason Whittaker

A Queensland Transport bureaucrat says the Government is not interested in targeting truck drivers over spelling mistakes and minor errors

A Queensland Transport bureaucrat says the Government is not interested in targeting truck drivers over spelling mistakes and minor errors in their logbooks.

The acting senior manager of land transport and safety, Andreas Blahous, gave a commitment at the Australian Livestock Transport Association’s (ALTA) annual conference enforcement officers will focus on "gross violations, not petty mistakes".

Blahous says drivers penalised over trivial matters such as misspelling places should contact Queensland Transport to have the issue rectified.

"We really aren’t interested in the small stuff," Blahous says.

Because Queensland is the only state to slug drivers with demerit points for logbook breaches, the trucking industry argues many drivers may lose their licence over minor issues.

"There is a fear out there people will lose their livelihood," Liz Schmidt from Schmidt’s Livestock Transport says.

Blahous dismissed Schmidt’s claims, saying there is no evidence to support industry concerns.

"The proportion of drivers being pushed out of the industry by licence suspensions is very small," he says.

One attendee at ALTA’s annual conference also criticised the provision requiring drivers to keep old work diaries for 28 days.

He wants the Queensland Government to give a driver a timeframe to produce an old diary, saying it would be unfair for someone to be penalised if, by day 27, they had forgot to take the old diary along with them.

If a driver fails to provide an enforcement officer with their old diary when asked, they will be hit with three demerit points as well as a $600 fine.

Blahous, however, could not answer whether drivers will be given leeway but defended the Government’s decision to include demerit points. He says it was the only way to ensure drivers got the message on logbook infringements because companies were paying monetary fines.

New South Wales is also struggling to address concerns over new work diaries. The State is forcing local drivers to use new work diaries but the RTA is still working out whether drivers need to use them if they are travelling very short distances.

A livestock transport driver at the ALTA conference could not get an answer from the on whether drivers will need to use work diaries if they are travelling from paddock to paddock.

In Victoria, owner-drivers are leaving fatigue information sessions still confused. According to Rob Farley who attended a session in Bendigo, a VicRoads bureaucrat could not show any drivers the new work diary format because "they haven’t even printed them".

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