Heavy Vehicle Reform Legislation Q and A, (PDF) - Transport

transport.tas.gov.au

Heavy Vehicle Reform Legislation Q and A, (PDF) - Transport

QUESTION AND ANSWERS• compliance and enforcement• heavy vehicle driver fatigue• heavy vehicle speeding compliance• the intelligent access project; and• alternative compliance.The National Law will apply to all heavy vehicles over 4.5tonnes, with the exception of heavy vehicle driver licensing,bus operator accreditation, and heavy vehicles transportingdangerous goods.The approach approved by the ATC to develop the NationalLaw was for it to be a consolidation of previous model law,and not an effort to substantially change existing policypositions.However, for Tasmania, the scope of change is larger than formost other jurisdictions. In December 2009, the TasmanianParliament passed the Heavy Vehicle Road Transport Act2009, which introduced a number of packages of nationalmodel legislation. This legislation was never gazetted, and sodid not come into effect, due to the impending transition tothe national regulator. For this reason, the transition to theNational Law is a larger implementation task for Tasmaniathan for most other jurisdictions. Key changes for Tasmaniaare the introduction of new laws concerning Chain ofResponsibility and management of fatigue.The only significant new inclusions from previous modellegislation are the provisions necessary to create theRegulator as a separate corporate entity, including humanresourcing, financial controls, and governance structures.5. WHEN WILL THE NATIONAL LAW TAKEEFFECT?From January 2013 the Regulator commenced operationwith a limited set of functions, such as administration ofthe National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme andPerformance Based Standards. In May this year, TransportMinisters agreed that the National Law should commence on1 September 2013. This is subject to participating jurisdictionshaving enacted the necessary legislation, and supportingsystems being in place. I understand that a readinessassessment will be conducted on a national basis in July.The Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory haveindicated they will not have their legislation in place by 1September, however all mainland States except WesternAustralia will have their legislation passed in time for a 1September commencement.6. WHAT WILL THE NEW NATIONALSYSTEM LOOK LIKE?Once the National Law takes effect, Australia will have its first‘one stop-shop’ for heavy vehicle road transport businesswith government. The Regulator will be responsible for thedelivery of a comprehensive range of regulatory services.Customers of the Regulator will be able to:• align their operations with best-practice fatiguemanagement laws;• operate under consistent national regulations for mass,dimension and loading;• operate under national standards for heavy vehicleinspections;• reduce vehicle downtime through interstate recognition ofinspections and defect clearances; and• expect a nationally consistent approach to penalties androadside enforcement.7. HOW WILL FATIGUE MANAGEMENTCHANGE?The National Law provides for the safe management offatigue for drivers of ‘fatigue-related heavy vehicles’ (seebelow). The key changes for Tasmania include:• extension of fatigue provisions to buses exceeding 12tonnes GVM;• requirements for drivers to keep a National Work Diary incertain circumstances;• adjustments to standard requirements for work and resttimes; and• availability of accreditation in alternative complianceschemes known as Basic and Advanced Fatigue Management.Another change is the extension of liability for fatigue-relatedoffences to additional parties in the Chain of Responsibility.At a practical level, the greatest change for Tasmanianindustry relates to work and rest times under ‘StandardHours’. Under current arrangements in Tasmania, for a 24hour period, you are allowed 12 hours of drive time plus 2hours of non-driving work time.Under Standard Hours under the national law, you will haveonly 12 hours of work time - that includes both driving andnon-driving work. So while the maximum amount of time youare allowed to drive stays the same at 12 hours, you are losingtwo hours of work time.This brings us into line with the other states that have alreadyhad this in place for some years. The pathway back to 14hours work time is through accreditation under Basic FatigueManagement. This is the big change for Tasmania, and one ofthe reasons we sought an additional six months to bring thisin (see below).8. WHAT IS A ‘FATIGUE-REGULATEDHEAVY VEHICLE’?The changes to the fatigue laws only apply to a ‘fatigueregulatedheavy vehicle’. A ‘fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle’has a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of more than 12 tonnes,either on its own or in combination. A bus is also a ‘fatigueregulatedheavy vehicle’ if it has a GVM of more than 4.5tonnes, and it seats more than 12 adults (including the driver).• apply online for access permits;

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