Heavy vehicle drivers across the country are looking forward to the new and improved National Driver Work Diary, scheduled to roll out with the new Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO Richard Hancock says the new work diary developed in partnership with the National Transport Commission (NTC) is easier to fill out and includes more detailed advice on fatigue laws and guidance on how to count time.
“The new diary is a complete package,” said Mr Hancock, “which should help to ensure that a driver’s focus is on managing their fatigue.”
Specific changes include:
- drivers will only have to record their vehicle registration once a day or if their vehicle changes, rather than at every break
- drivers will only have to record the location and odometer reading at the start of a rest break, unless the location or odometer reading has changed during the break
- drivers will only be required to record their operator’s Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management accreditation number once in the diary (or again if it changes), rather than on every daily sheet
- solo drivers are no longer required to record the state or territory where their licence was issued
- a new optional comments section is included to allow recording of information such as delays and notes made by authorised officers.
The changes are the result of extensive consultation with industry and reflect the new requirements in the Heavy Vehicle (Fatigue Management) National Regulation 2013.
Long-term road safety advocate and owner-operator Jan Pattison believes the introduction of the new work diary will have definite on-the-road benefits for heavy vehicle drivers.
“In redeveloping the driver work diary, the NTC and NHVR have not just met the requirements of the new national law, they have listened to industry, streamlined the process and still captured all necessary information about work and rest times.”
"Once the HVNL commences, all drivers of regulated vehicles who drive 100km or more from their home base or are operating under Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management, must complete a work diary to record their work and rest times," Mr Hancock said.
This means more Queensland drivers will soon be using a work diary. Currently in Queensland, drivers operating under standard hours must use a work diary when they operate outside a 200km radius from their base. Under the HVNL, those same drivers must record their work and rest time in a work diary when they operate outside of a 100km radius.
“These changes bring Queensland into line with other states and territories which already have been operating with the 100km radius for some time,” Mr Hancock said.
The start date for the new national law and regulations will be confirmed shortly, but when the HVNL rolls out, new fatigue laws relating to work diaries will apply in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Tasmania will commence the national law, but provisions dealing with fatigue and work diaries will not commence until six months later.
“Drivers in those four states, however, don’t need to rush out and buy the new work diary straight away,” said Mr Hancock.
“We want to give industry time to make the change. Drivers can still use their old work diary for up to six months after the new national law commences in their state. After that period, though, they will have to pick up a copy of the new work diary, “Mr Hancock said.
The updated work diary will be available for $20 from the same places where the current work diary is sold.
For more information and details of work diary sale points, visit the NHVR website www.nhvr.gov.au/workdiary or call 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487). Note that standard 1300 call charges apply. Please check with your phone provider.
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Work diaries in each jurisdiction
The information below clarifies key changes for certain jurisdictions and how work diaries will operate across borders.
- Under the national law, the Queensland limit for local area work under standard hours has been lowered from 200km to 100km, bringing it into line with other participating jurisdictions.
- When the national law commences, if you drive more than 100km from your home base using standard hours, you must use a work diary.
New South Wales
- In New South Wales only, drivers operating under Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management do not have to carry and complete a work diary if driving less than 100km.
- When the Heavy Vehicle National Law commences in Tasmania, provisions dealing with fatigue and work diaries will not commence until six months later. Current Tasmanian rules will remain in place until that time.
- Drivers in Tasmania who purchase the new national work diary when the national law commences must complete the work diary according to the current Tasmanian legislation and not the new national law, unless travelling interstate.
- If you travel to mainland states that have commenced the national law, you must use a work diary to record work and rest hours at all times if you are driving 100km or more.
- Unless you have a record-keeping exemption permit, you will also need to complete a work diary if you are working under Basic Fatigue Management or Advanced Fatigue Management Accreditation.
Australian Capital Territory
- The ACT has not previously legislated model fatigue laws. When the national law commences in the ACT, the new fatigue management and work diary requirements will not take effect immediately. A start date is currently under review.
- As drivers of heavy vehicles located in the ACT regularly drive interstate, work diaries may be kept in accordance with the requirements of those other jurisdictions and as part of a fatigue risk management system.
- Work diaries will continue to be available for purchase from the ACT’s Road Transport Authority.
Northern Territory and Western Australia
- The Northern Territory has not previously legislated model fatigue laws and has yet to confirm when the new national laws will commence.
- If you are a driver in the Northern Territory or Western Australia, you don’t have to use a work diary or similar unless you leave the state or territory. You may still use a work diary as part of your fatigue risk management system.
- If you enter and stay within the Northern Territory or Western Australia for less than seven days, you should fill out the work diary for the entire period.
- When leaving the Northern Territory or Western Australia after a stay of more than seven days, you must use the work diary from at least the last major rest break before crossing the border.
Work diary exemptions
- Heavy vehicle drivers operating under standard hours who are unable to make records in their National Driver Work Diary because of literacy issues or a print disability may apply directly to the NHVR for a work diary exemption (permit).
- To apply for this permit, the driver must be able to substantiate their literacy issues or print disability, such as through a medical certificate, and nominate an assistant to help the driver complete their National Driver Work Diary at a suitable time.