Truckie asks Queensland to adopt WA's fatigue scheme

Owner-driver petitions Queensland Government to adopt Western Australia's fatigue management regulations

By Brad Gardner | July 5, 2013

An owner-driver has lobbied the Queensland Government to adopt Western Australia’s approach to fatigue management, claiming the existing system puts too much pressure on truck drivers.

Ken Wilkie’s petition in support of Western Australia’s regime says the model used in the eastern states cannot achieve desired safety outcomes and must go.

Western Australia’s fatigue management system is often credited for providing trucking operators greater flexibility.

"The rigid eastern state parameters put pressure on drivers to complete a task within a set time limitation. Current eastern state regulations through their significant discrimination and rigorous enforcement are forcing responsible drivers from the industry as well as deterring younger aspirants from entering the profession," the petition states.

"The flexibility of the West Australian system will eliminate onerous legal ramifications when a driver accidentally makes simple clerical errors or exceeds time limits by small margins. It will also provide drivers with a respect currently denied by zealous and ineffective regulations."

The petition is currently open to residents to sign and has received 32 signatures to date.

Wilkie says the Western Australian model should be the only one used once national heavy vehicle regulations begin. Western Australia has committed to retaining its system, putting it at odds with other jurisdictions.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is currently developing a new advanced fatigue management (AFM) scheme to address shortfalls with the existing system and to provide industry with greater flexibility.

AFM, which requires operators to meet a number of requirements before gaining certification, allows drivers to work a maximum of 154 hours in 14 days. Western Australia allows drivers to work 168 hours over the same period.

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