WA company prosecuted for fatigue breaches

The depot manager of a Western Australian transport company was convicted in South Australia under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) for critical breaches of fatigue regulations according to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

NHVR Executive Director Statutory Compliance, Ray Hassall, said an investigation was launched after drivers from the company were intercepted by NHVR Safety and Compliance Officers near Ceduna, South Australia.

“Officers pulled up a two-up driving arrangement near Ceduna and found that both drivers were in critical breach of their work and rest requirements under the HVNL,” said Hassall.

“They were on the return leg of a trip from Perth to Sydney and had notified their depot manager that they both required their mandated 24 hour rest break.

“The Defendant then instructed them to ‘lose their work diaries’ and continue driving.”

By the time the drivers were stopped by officers near Ceduna, both drivers had been driving for eight days without a 24 hour rest break.

The Defendant was charged with two offences against Section 26E HVNL – one count relating to each of the drivers in the two-up arrangement.

The Defendant pleaded guilty and was fined $3000 per count, which was reduced from $4000 per count for his guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity.

A conviction was recorded on each count. The maximum penalty for each offence was $11,120.

Hassall said drivers can’t perform their jobs safely and to the best of their ability when they’re fatigued and the safety risk presented by drivers put in this position is immense.

“Heavy vehicle safety is everyone’s responsibility. Whether you’re a depot manager, a driver, working in a distribution centres, scheduling or even a managing director, you have an obligation to do your best to keep our roads safe,” he said.

“If you are asked to do something you know is not safe you can make a free confidential report to the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line on 1800 931 785.”

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