Electronic work diary review published by NTC

The plan to introduce electronic work diaries (EWD) has taken another step forward with the NTC's release of the results from a pilot scheme to evaluate the new technology out in the field. The regulatory issues paper is called, 'Preparing Australia for Electronic Work Diaries'.

The EWD Pilot was conducted from 2011 to 2013 and raised a number of issues to be addressed by the NTC in formulating how the EWD should be introduced and regulated when it becomes a reality.

Essentially, an EWD is an electronic equivalent of the current Driver's Work Diary but with much more regular and accurate information being recorded in terms of time and location and the ability to track a driver from base with data being transmitted to the service provider every 15 minutes.

A number of suggestions have been thrown up by the pilot and, in reporting them in this paper, the NTC is looking for comments on the likely changes by December 3, 2013. The results of the report and stakeholder feedback will come together in a recommendation to the Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure (SCOTI) in 2014.

One of the suggested changes is to remove the rounding up of working and rest periods to 15 minute intervals for the EWD, which measures working and resting periods much more accurately. This will have some fallout in the enforcement arena and a tolerance level of around five minutes has been suggested as a way to avoid drivers being breached for mistakes of just a few minutes.

The need to provide EWD printouts in the truck is likely to end, with enforcement officers able to access EWD records online at the side of the highway. Not including printers in the specification is likely to reduce the cost of the EWD unit.

There is also a discussion about how far back enforcement officers can go when interrogating an EWD, with the suggestion an officer can always check back 28 days with an option to go back up to 3 months if it is deemed necessary.

The full report on these issues is available from the NTC website and any public comment need to be sent to the NTC before December 3 2013.

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