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The NHVR's Regulatory Priorities for 2021-21 are set by the objectives in the 2020-2023 Corporate Plan. The priorities are inspired by apparent and emerging industry safety risks identified by industry. 

The NHVR applied an evidence-based, risk assessment process to identify six Regulatory Priorities for 2021-22:

Heavy vehicle driver fatigue
  • Education and monitoring of seasonal activities such as grain harvest
  • Long haul interstate road transport
  • 100km work in metropolitan areas / auditing local work rest records
Compliance with heavy vehicle standards
  • Learnings from the National roadworthy survey
  • ECU tampering campaign
Safe loading of heavy vehicles
  • Safe loading of freight containers Regulatory Advice
  • Off road investigations targeting high-risk operators and other parties in the chain
Industry compliance to Safety Duties
  • Publication of Regulatory Advice and supporting Fact sheets
  • Off road party investigations targeting high-risk operators and other parties in the chain
Driver fitness for work
  • Alcohol and other drugs Regulatory Advice and supporting Fact Sheets
  • Training workers in the transport industry Regulatory Advice and supporting Fact Sheets
  • Partnering with “Healthy Heads Trucks and Sheds
  • Education of driver health
  • Input on the HVNL review especially around driver competency
Light passenger vehicle driver behaviour around heavy vehicles

The NHVR has developed its Regulatory Priorities for 2021-21 based on the objectives outlined in its Corporate Plan 2020-2023, and in response to concerning areas of apparent or emerging industry safety and other regulatory risks. The NHVR considers a Regulatory Priority as a required area of focus that applies to all or targeted sectors or risk across the heavy vehicle industry, where a sustained period of regulatory attention is warranted.

The draft Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy 2021-2025 outlines key areas where the NHVR will focus on to reduce the number of crashes, fatalities and injuries across the heavy vehicle road transport industry and its supply chain.  The Regulatory Priorities 2021-2022 program details how the NHVR will work with industry to address identified areas of high-risk non-compliance to achieve improved safety outcomes.  For the 2021-2022 period the NHVR Regulatory Priorities programme will deliver education-focused improvement projects, targeted national regulatory activities, solution-oriented trials and pilot projects, focussed regulatory advice, and safety bulletins and alerts.

Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue

 

Driver fatigue or drowsy driving is a serious safety hazard for the road transport industry and other road users. Despite the efforts made by the NHVR and wider industry participants, fatigue continues to be an overrepresented factor in heavy vehicle road incidents. The number of fatigue related heavy vehicle incidents must be reduced. The emotional and economical cost to the community of fatigue related crashes is far too high. Driving while fatigued is identified in the NHVR Safety Strategy 2021-25 and National Road Safety Strategy 2021-30 as a high risk activity and will continue to be a critical area of safety focus for the NHVR.

The HVNL is very clear around the obligations on drivers not to drive whilst fatigued and on other parties who must not ask, direct, require or adversely influence a driver to operate a heavy vehicle whilst fatigued. The NHVR is still observing far too many instances of systemic non-compliance with work and rest hour limits and an associated falsification of work diary records.

 

 

NHVR’s expectations

The NHVR expects that all affected industry participants, including drivers, operators and other influencing parties in the Chain of Responsibility, will maintain full compliance with the primary duties related to fatigue within the Heavy Vehicle National Law. This always includes strict the management of driver fatigue and adherence to work and rest times contained within the National Fatigue Regulations, and accurately recording those times within a legal work diary.

The NHVR also expects that affected operators and other parties will have suitable safety controls (countermeasures) formally implemented within their business operations to minimise the risk of heavy vehicle driver fatigue related incidents. Depending on the level of fatigue risk within a business, those countermeasures may include:

  • Documented policies and/or procedures for scheduling and rostering practices;
  • Mandatory ‘fitness for duty’ assessments for drivers prior to the commencement of operating a heavy vehicle;
  • Mandatory ‘authority to stop’ procedures to allow drivers to cease operating a heavy vehicle without repercussions, should they report feeling fatigued;
  • Regular auditing or related assurance assessments of fatigue risk management practices;
  • The installation of Fatigue Detection Technology in vehicles with an associated risk based alert procedure

NHVR’s Actions

  • Conduct National, jurisdictional and sector specific on-road operations targeting fatigue related offences and breaches; and
  • Conducting targeted off-road monitoring activities and investigations of fatigue related high-risk operators identified through intelligence and data led risk profiling; and
  • Issue targeted Regulatory Advice reinforcing NHVR’s expectations on drivers, operators and other parties in the Chain of Responsibility that appropriate fatigue risk management systems and processes are in place and being effectively utilised; and
  • Initiate projects to promote the uptake of emerging fatigue safety improvement technologies – such as the Fatigue and Driver Distraction Technology Pilot; and
  • Educate industry with options, tools and guidance, such as Fatigue Choices, to better manage fatigue as part of their day to day business.
 
Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue
  • Education and monitoring of seasonal activities such as grain harvest
  • Long haul interstate road transport
  • 100km work in metropolitan areas / auditing local work rest records
Compliance with heavy vehicle standards
  • Learnings from the National roadworthy survey
  • ECU tampering campaign
Safe loading of heavy vehicles
  • Safe loading of freight containers Regulatory Advice
  • Off road investigations targeting high-risk operators and other parties in the chain
Industry compliance to safety duties
  • Publication of Regulatory Advice and supporting Fact sheets
  • Off road party investigations targeting high-risk operators and other parties in the chain
Driver fitness for work
  • Alcohol and other drugs Regulatory Advice and supporting Fact Sheets
  • Training workers in the transport industry
  • Regulatory Advice and supporting Fact Sheets
  • Partnering with “Healthy Heads Trucks and Sheds
  • Education of driver health
  • Input on the HVNL review especially around driver competency
Light passenger vehicle driver behaviour around heavy vehicles