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NHVR approves fatigue exemption

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has approved a user-friendly, fatigue-related exemption to allow heavy vehicle drivers additional time for personal use.

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the Personal Use Exemption would allow operators more flexibility with up to one hour of personal use of a heavy vehicle outside their regulated driving hours, from 1 February 2018.

“We undertook extensive consultation with the heavy vehicle industry last September and October on a proposal to allow personal use of a heavy vehicle,” said Petroccitto.

“This allows us to expand on a similar scheme which currently exists in NSW to Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT.”

The exemption must be used for private or non-commercial activities, such as reaching suitable sleeping accommodation and restocking supplies for a trip, according to the NHVR. It received 60 submissions during the month-long consultation process, with more than 90 per cent supporting the more flexible arrangements.

Permitted personal activities would include, stowing or retrieving personal effects, cleaning a heavy vehicle, refuelling or attending to personal matters.

Petroccitto said the exemption would allow drivers to use a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal activities during a 24-hour rest break or at the end of their shift.

“Drivers using the exemption still have a responsibility to manage their own fatigue,” he said. “The exemption can only be used under standard hours. If additional work time is required for commercial needs, drivers and operators should apply for fatigue management accreditation.”

In recent news, the NHVR has extended its pre-advised design approval process to cover 80 per cent of new Performance-Based Standards scheme design approval applications.

(Image: National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO, Sal Petroccitto.)

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