This week has seen the announcement of a measure, as an extension of an existing initiative, that will improve the lives and increase flexibility for truck drivers to use their vehicles outside work hours.
“There are currently more than 2300 operators utilising the benefits of Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) and Basic Fatigue Management (BFM),” said Scott Buchholz, Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport. “This change will mean drivers operating under BFM and AFM will have an additional hour to use their fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal use, which can be utilised during the 24 hour rest break.
“That means that drivers can do things like pop to the shops to restock personal supplies, make it to their sleeping accommodation, fuel up, wash their vehicles or run personal errands without worrying about going over their regulated driving hours. It’s a practical change to make life easier for the people that keep Australia moving.”
Personal Use Exemption for drivers on Standard hours was allowed in 2018 and following industry feedback the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has added the extension to drivers who are eligible for BFM and AFM.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the change was part of the NHVR’s five-week Focus on Fatigue campaign that would include education and compliance operations across Australia in the lead-up to Christmas.
“With the busy holiday period just around the corner it’s timely to remind everyone about the risks of driving fatigued,” said Sal. “We also want to enable flexibility for operators with good safety records through initiatives like AFM and BFM.
“Our most recent Operation Wake Up in April this year intercepted 3506 vehicles for fatigue checks and found that drivers under BFM and AFM were well above the average compliance rate of 93.3 per cent.”