ELECTRONIC WORK DIARIES: The NHVR wants to know what drivers want from a digital log book.
ELECTRONIC WORK DIARIES: The NHVR wants to know what drivers want from a digital log book. Kirstin Payne

What do you want in EWDs?

THE National Heavy Vehicle Regulator has kicked off a round of public consultation on the use of Electronic Work Diaries (EWD) and their standards.

While this sounds like a lot of bureaucratic mumbo, it actually marks a significant step in the legalisation of the everyday use of EWDs.

Ultimately the standards will serve as a list of "must haves” in each EWD device.

So for instance, the standards could include GPS tracking, options for drivers to override the information provided or a standard display panel for law enforcement officers.

Once finalised, these standards will need to be met for the NHVR to approve the device - kind of like the Red Heart tick of approval, except mandatory.

Ideally, each device design will then be approved, ready for drivers to buy off the shelf.

The NHVR model outlines that the EWD information will be collected by the technology provider and then sent to the drivers' nominated record keeper.

Officers are expected to access the same information currently provided on work diaries.

While EWDs aren't at all mandatory in Australia yet, drivers may want to jump on the chance to share their opinion on the use of them sooner rather than later.

To ensure their needs are met before standards are set, in the event of turning tides like that of Northern America - with both Canada and the United States in discussion to make the use of EWDs mandatory.

Anyone interested has a chance to view the proposed EWD "must haves” online and share their thoughts during the consultation process which runs until February. If you have an EWD it would be wise to watch this space.

While no systems have been approved by the NHVR at this stage, candidates must be submitted by technology providers to the regulator before they are approved.

THE TECHNOLOGY

On the development side, the NHVR is inviting technology providers and transport operators interested in developing an EWD system to register their proposal and intention to apply for approval.

To provide flexibility and innovation, the NHVR will offer a tiered approval approach to EWDs.

So transport operators will be allowed to either, develop their own EWD system, buy an off-the-shelf EWD system or buy a complete telematics system.

As long as an EWD system meets the performance requirements specified in the yet to be developed EWD Standards, it can be approved for oper- ation along with the cond- itions of approval and use.

Check out the proposal and share your thoughts. Visit www.nhvr.gov.au/ fatigue, phone 1300MYNHVR (1300696487) or email info@nhvr.gov.au.

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