Australia's transport ministers agreed last week to reduce the paperwork burden affecting drivers and operators of accredited heavy vehicles.
The Transport and Infrastructure Council has asked the National Transport Commission (NTC) to prepare an amendment to the Heavy Vehicle National Law, to remove clauses that require heavy vehicle drivers to carry documents that arise from their employers enrolment in the 'mass' or 'maintenance' management accreditation schemes.
The law also currently makes employers liable for any driver’s failure to keep these documents at hand, or to return them to their employer if they changed jobs.
The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) advised that it had issued instructions this week to the relevant state and territory road transport authorities to not enforce sections 468 and 470(2)(b) of the national law, against drivers or operators, in relation to the carriage of documents for mass management or maintenance management.
The NHVR is satisfied that there is no safety issue arising from these provisions and there would be no merit in seeking to enforce these requirements until ministers and Parliament have had an opportunity to consider the proposed amendment.
State and territory road transport authorities have been tasked to instruct authorised officers under the Heavy Vehicle National Law:
- not to request nor to require the production by drivers of these mass or maintenance accreditation documents at the roadside; and
- not to issue any sanctions for failure to carry or produce the documents.
Previously, the NHVR had issued national instructions that authorised officers should issue 'warnings only' until 10 March. The new instructions replace that approach.
The NTC has worked closely with the NHVR, and with the Commonwealth, states and territories in preparing this recent advice to ministers.
The rules for basic fatigue management (BFM) and advanced fatigue management (AFM) remain the same. Drivers must still carry and produce on demand all the relevant documents which show that they have been trained and inducted in these two safety-related management schemes.
For more information, visit www.nhvr.gov.au or contact 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487).