The NHVR recognises that heavy vehicle drivers in Australia may need to use their fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal reasons from time to time as they cannot reasonably access alternative means of transport. Currently, any activity involving a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle is counted as work and limited by the Heavy Vehicle National Law.
Proposed work and rest hours exemption
The NHVR is proposing a national work and rest exemption notice that would provide up to an hour of additional work time to allow drivers to use a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal activities.
Permitted personal activities would include:
- stowing or retrieving personal effects from a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle
- cleaning a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle
- refueling a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle
- driving a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal reasons.
The exemption would allow drivers to use their heavy vehicle for personal activities in two specific circumstances:
- during the 24-hour rest break
- at the end of their shift, prior to their major rest break.
The exemption provides flexibility for domestic/non-revenue purposes only as the NHVR wants to protect drivers from commercial pressures leading to longer work time. For example, it can't be used to drive the vehicle to a mechanic for repairs or to get home at the end of a trip. The exemption can only be used under standard hours, if additional work time is needed for commercial needs, drivers and operators should apply for BFM or AFM accreditation.
For more information read the Proposed personal use of a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle FAQs (PDF, 244KB).
Notice of proposed rule making
Notice of Proposed Rule Making - Private use of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles (PDF, 226KB) outlines the proposed new work and rest hours exemption. To ensure clear and relevant rules are developed, the NHVR needs the benefit of the knowledge, experience and perspectives of members of the heavy vehicle industry. Drivers and operators of fatigue-regulated heavy vehicles as well as people who schedule, manage or influence these drivers have provided feedback.
The NHVR is now reviewing the feedback provided and considering any potential revisions to the notice. Further information about the steps for this notice to be finalised and implemented will be published on this webpage shortly.