Friday, July 26, 2024

NHVR issue driver fatigue warning

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has issued a reminder for heavy vehicle drivers to ensure fatigue management is a top priority, following the release of the results of a major operation that ran from the WA border to Port Augusta in South Australia.

The five-day operation was launched in May and saw an increased presence of authorised officers at the WA and SA border, with the aim of enhancing road safety and compliance with vehicle standards, as well as preventing fatigue-related breaches in the area.

NHVR Chief Operations Officer, Paul Salvati said officers conducted 151 intercepts over the five days, inspecting more than 480 individual vehicle units.

“Authorised officers undertook 140 mechanical checks, finding a 24.5% rate of mechanical non-compliance, while 138 work diary checks resulted in a 7.3% rate of fatigue related non-compliance,” Mr Salvati said.

“In light of this, we want to remind drivers that adhering to work and rest requirements is something they should be prioritising each and every day – fatigue management isn’t just a legal obligation, it’s critical to ensuring every road user makes it home safely.

“By scheduling rest breaks, keeping accurate work diaries, and taking proactive steps to manage fatigue, drivers can contribute to safer roads and reduce the risk of accidents.”

Mr Salvati said officers also provided education on compliance and safety to 82 drivers over the course of the five days, ensuring they understood the requirements of the law and equipping them with the knowledge and resources necessary to maintain the highest safety standards.

“As I have said before, education is an investment in safety – the NHVR is committed to supporting drivers by making sure they are aware of how to comply with the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and are able to make informed decisions on the road about their safety,” he said.

“This operation was a massive effort by the NHVR’s Safety and Compliance Officers, and authorised officers from MainRoads WA, highlighting the importance of cross border operations.

“Through this collaborative effort we were able to harmonise our regulatory approach and on-road resources to obtain data and intelligence, with heavy vehicle non-compliance identified on both sides of the border.

“The NHVR is focused on sustainable safety practices, rather than handing out prescriptive fines for minor or accidental offences – we want to see long-term change and create a lasting impact that extends beyond our operations.”

NHVR Operations Manager, Stephen Bryers said the results of the operation were encouraging and highlighted the hard work of industry in adopting improved safety practices, including daily safety checks.

“Comparing these results to a similar operation we carried out last year in the same area with consistent intercept rates, there was a 14% reduction in mechanical non-compliance offences and a 2% increase in fatigue matters,” Mr Bryers said.

“It’s pleasing to see mechanical non-compliance decrease so significantly in the space of a year, not to mention a large majority of the mechanical defects identified during this operation were very minor.

“However, the slight increase we saw in fatigue matters only reiterates how important it is for drivers to be vigilant when it comes to complying with their work and rest requirements.

“Throughout the operation, we identified several potential recidivist operators, and officers didn’t hesitate to enforce the HVNL where required for those pushing the envelope on safety, with 16 infringements handed out, in addition to 37 defect notices.

“We want to see safe vehicles, and safe drivers, on our roads.”

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