Victoria delivers on fatigue time counting pledge

Victoria has followed through on its pledge to amend fatigue management time counting rules

November 9, 2011

Victoria has delivered on its commitment to amend fatigue management time counting rules, giving the nation’s truck drivers consistency when travelling across borders.

Transport Minister Terry Mulder yesterday announced amendments to driving regulations to bring Victoria into line with Queensland and NSW.

Victoria has started counting time similar to the other states, with South Australia to begin on November 10.

The change ends a policy which led to Queensland and NSW drivers, despite being compliant in their home states, exposed to potentially severe fatigue breaches when crossing the border into Victoria and South Australia.

Under the changes which commenced yesterday, Victorian enforcement officers will adopt the NSW and Queensland system of counting time forward from a major rest break to determine if a driver has committed a fatigue management breach.

Victorian Transport Association (VTA) CEO Philip Lovel says a number of the group’s members have been caught out by the different time counting rules since fatigue laws were introduced in 2008.

"The VTA is now liaising with VicRoads and Victoria Police to encourage consistency in enforcement practices in Victoria in line with the amended regulation," he says.

Lovel is also using the announcement of changes to time counting rules to call for drivers and schedulers to be given the opportunity to undertake a refresher course on work diaries.

"The VTA is in the process of rolling out refresher training opportunities for heavy vehicle drivers, and we are asking VicRoads and Victoria Police to join us in undertaking several awareness seminars for industry in Victorian regional and metropolitan locations," he says.

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