The federal government has announced that truck drivers operating under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) and Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) options can use their trucks outside work hours.
A Personal Use Exemption for drivers on Standard hours was introduced in 2018. Following industry feedback, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has added the extension to drivers who are eligible for BFM and AFM.
“There are currently more than 2300 operators utilising the benefits of AFM and BFM,” Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said.
“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.”
The change is part of the NHVR’s five-week Focus on Fatigue campaign that includes education and compliance operations across Australia in the lead-up to Christmas, NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said.
“With the busy holiday period just around the corner it’s timely to remind everyone about the risks of driving fatigued,” he said.
“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.”
More information on the exemption, which applies from 4 November 2019, can be found here.
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