The project of electronic work diaries (EWD) being able to be used as a legal record of work has taken another step closer to fruition. A decision by the Queensland Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources parliamentary committee recommended the Queensland parliament pass the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015.
This bill, if passed, would open up the possibility of the National heavy Vehicle Regulator beginning the process of approving EWDs. Operators who are already using a form of EWD in their business should be able to do away with the current paper version. It is expected the take-up of EWDs will be relatively quick among the larger trucking businesses, but may prove uneconomical for smaller operators to use.
Some of the concerns raised by the trucking industry during the discussion stage of the bill’s development have been considered. The report confirms the proposed eight minute small breach electronic work diary tolerance will be reviewed after two years. However, the zero tolerance for rest time errors will not be changed.
“The electronic diaries that would be approved under this bill would replace the need for written work diaries, potentially offering a considerable reduction in the red tape burden faced by operators and drivers,” said Christopher Melham, ATA CEO. “However, the risk of a two-tiered regulatory regime could deter operators and drivers from making the change.
“We also welcome the confirmation that electronic work diaries will be voluntary. Although electronic work diaries could offer great advantages for some businesses, installing them would be an unnecessary cost for small operators or those who don’t currently fall under work diary requirements.
“In the ATA’s view, the only situation where electronic work diaries should be mandatory is where a court orders an operator to install them after convicting the operator of an offence.”