Fatigue charges dropped


Two NSW long-distance drivers have their fatigue charges dropped, with counting time in SA under review

Fatigue charges dropped
Fatigue charges dropped

By Ruza Zivkusic | March 7, 2011

Counting time in SA is under review following fatigue charges against two NSW drivers dropped.

Long-distance drivers John Small and Wayne Roberson (as pictured)
were
charged for breaching the laws
in SA,
where time is counted
differently to NSW,
which is counted forward from the end of the drivers’ major rest breaks.

They were represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) during a 15-month long legal battle.

The pair, who are both Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) accredited drivers, are authorised to drive for 14 hours within a 24-hour period, with appropriate breaks.

A SA Crown Solicitor says the authorities will now review the means by which they calculate the number of hours driven by a heavy vehicle driver
during a 24-hour period.

TWU State Secretary Wayne Forno says it was a tough legal battle.

"We also got the SA authorities to rethink how they count time, which is a real and substantial win for our members and for all interstate drivers," Forno says.

"Our members are our first priority and this is a victory for them and for all long distance drivers.

"It is a concrete step towards getting uniform regulation across the states, an ongoing concern for our interstate drivers," he adds.

"It is an excellent result for the whole industry which has evolved from what was originally a fight we put up for two of our members."

The National Transport Commission Project Director George Konstandakos says the NTC will make a recommendation on fatigue laws to the transport ministers later this month.

"This is why we are aiming for one law; that is the exact issue we are experiencing now where you have Victoria and SA with one version of the fatigue laws and you have NSW and QLD with another version," Konstandakos says.

"When you cross borders you have different laws being applied and you have different methods of enforcement and that’s exactly the type of issues we’re resolving as part of a single regulator principle that we’re putting forward," he adds.

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