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Law and enforcement must match electronic work diary compliance policy

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27 April 2018

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is not opposed to the introduction of voluntary electronic work diaries (EWDs), once they meet appropriate conditions.

“Laws for the use of EWDs and the compliance policy released by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator must be consistent,” ATA Chair Geoff Crouch said today.

“In our view, the NHVR’s compliance policy is not supported by the underlying legislation, which puts drivers and companies at legal risk.

EWDs should be about helping drivers to increase safety through better fatigue management and help achieve compliance, not to increase enforcement,” he said.

The NHVR draft EWD compliance policy was released in March 2018, with the NHVR since announcing they will commence accepting applications for EWD approval from 28 May 2018.

“The NHVR has a responsibility to ensure EWDs focus on safety outcomes and they need to deliver a valid framework outlining how they intend to do this,” Mr Crouch said.

The ATA has called for a review to the Heavy Vehicle National Law to be brought in as soon as possible, rather than as planned for 2019.

“This review needs to focus on prescriptive fatigue law hours, including work and rest hour tolerances for electronic work diaries,” Mr Crouch said.

“Now the NHVR has given EWDs the green light, it’s crucial that a review of current legislation get underway this year,” he said.  

The ATA debated EWDs and the EWD compliance policy at its General Council meeting last week.