Attention turns to getting fatigue changes in place

After securing vital fatigue management changes, industry will now focus on getting them introduced as soon as possible

June 14, 2011

After securing reforms to fatigue management regulations last week, the trucking industry is now turning its focus on getting them introduced as soon as possible.

The Australian Transport Council (ATC), which is made up of the nation’s transport ministers, agreed to adopt uniform time counting rules in line with the scheme used in Queensland and NSW.

South Australia and Victoria will amend their fatigue management regulations, but there has been no word on when the changes will be implemented.

"The next step in our campaign must be to urge the Victorian and South Australian governments to put through the necessary changes as quickly as possible," Australian Trucking Association CEO Stuart St Clair says.

"We also need consistent enforcement guidelines, so the police and inspectors enforce the new rules in the same way in every state."

St Clair’s comments echo those from the Australian Livestock Transporters Association (ALTA) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) calling for the reforms to be introduced quickly.

Australian Logistics Council CEO Michael Kilgariff says the ATC’s decision will lead to a simpler and easier approach to managing fatigue management.

Kilgariff says the announcement demonstrates cooperation between government and industry is the most effective way of ensuring consistent and uniform laws.

Queensland and NSW currently count driving time from a major rest break to determine if a driver has worked the correct amount of hours in a 24-hour period.

Victorian and South Australian enforcement officers can count time from any rest break, potentially exposing drivers to multiple fatigue breaches.

The inconsistency has significantly affected long distance drivers travelling from Queensland and NSW into South Australia or Victoria because they can simultaneously be compliant with the former regime while breaching the latter.

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