OPINION: Just a thought on fatigue survey

THE NHVR has kicked off a month-long consultation program to allow operators and drivers to have some input into a change in regulation allowing an exemption to driving hours.

The regulator says that under the proposal operators will be able to use a heavy vehicle for personal use or up to one hour at the end of the day or on a regulated day off.

Sounds fair enough and as long as the consultation process actually listens to people on the road, it is the answer to a small problem such as driving a truck to have necessary repairs when the driver has just got to his or her destination and is out of hours. Or perhaps driving bobtail from an unloading depot where trailers can be left so that the driver can get to accommodation.

In a media release of Sal Petroccitto's announcement at the Nat Road conference at Hamilton Island of all places - now there's a place that symbolises road transport today - Talk about a late winter junket for Southern bureaucrats - that the consultation process on fatigue exemption would be carried out over one month.

We were told this via a media release that included the following paragraph:

"There will also be a number of coordinated enforcement operations taking place across the country in the coming weeks with a specific target on work and rest hours and the correct filling out overworked diary.”

Subtext of that paragraph is BLITZ!

With the confusion in filling out logbooks and making calculations based on the 24-hour rule has been identified in recent weeks, as well as the fact many logbook transgressions are an outcome of this confusion, rather than start the much talked about training and support campaign the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator opens up a consultation period with a blitz!

This to me defies logic and just furthers the separation between enforcement agencies and truck operators.

Not real smart, Sal.

Big Rigs