Electronic systems draft paper released

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has today released its ‘Electronic Systems for Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue and Speed Compliance: Draft Policy Paper’.

The draft paper was developed in consultation with industry and government stakeholders.

It proposes a way forward for industry and regulators on allowing the voluntary use of electronic work diaries to monitor heavy vehicle work and rest areas and addresses the use of technology to monitor speed compliance.

According to the draft paper, using electronic work diaries to comply with fatigue management laws could improve road safety, boost efficiency and reduce red tape.

NTC Senior Manager, Dr Jeff Potter, said technologies that allow operators to manage risks as they happen would have wide-spread safety benefits for industry, government and the community.
“We know that many transport operators are already using electronic work diaries to beneficially manage speed and fatigue compliance in real time,” he said. “Because there are no regulatory standards for assessing electronic work diaries, operators who choose to use these electronic devices must still record the trips they take and the hours that they work and rest on paper, resulting in unnecessary duplication.
“The proposed policy paper gives operators the flexibility to continue with the current paper-based system or use electronic work diaries while still meeting regulatory standards. 
“We expect that this will lead to greater adoption of these technologies as potential designers and users of the electronic work diaries will be able to invest in these technologies with confidence.
“We have also been careful to ensure that the draft policy paper only details the minimum requirements of how the electronic diary should function, leaving room for industry to innovate and minimise uptake costs to any small businesses which may wish to invest in these technologies.”
Transport Certification Australia (TCA), on behalf of Austroads, has developed an electronic work diary specification to complement the policy proposal, which is also being made available for consultation. The New South Wales’ Roads and Traffic Authority will conduct an operational pilot of electronic work diaries and speed monitoring devices to test how the recommendations can be practically applied in the day-to-day operations of regulators and industry.
Dr Potter said stakeholder feedback will be important in developing the right policy for Australia’s road freight industry and encouraged interested stakeholders to make a submission.
Consultation sessions on the draft policy and specifications, involving NTC, TCA and Austroads will be held in late November or early December with details to be published on the NTC website at a later date.

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