The addition of electronic work diaries (EWDs) as a means to help counter fatigue among heavy vehicle drivers has moved a step closer this week when the NHVR started accepting applications for approvals from local and international companies.
One of the key features of EWDs is that they can alert drivers to take a scheduled break to avoid fatigue. Reducing the risks associated with driver fatigue is one of the key purposes behind chain of responsibility (CoR) laws.
NHVR Safety Standards Director Greg Fill said the acceptance of applications for EWDs was an important milestone in providing fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle drivers with a voluntary alternative to written work diaries.
Only products that meet the NHVR Standards and are approved by the NHVR can be used for regulatory purposes to record work and rest hours.
“I expect we’ll start to see applications lodged to have EWDs approved in the coming weeks,” Mr Fill said.
He said many of the 37 technology providers and transport operators that had lodged a Notice of Intent with the regulator were at different stages of development.
Framework released this week
Mr Fill said applicants should visit the NHVR EWD webpage to access the application form. Further guidelines and education material for drivers, record keepers, transport operators and technology providers will be available next month.
Mr Fill said the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) had undertaken an independent review of the final EWD Standards.
“According to ARRB, the EWD Standards are ‘technically robust because they are within a policy framework that includes supporting administrative policies and guidelines’,” he said.
Proposed EWD systems will be assessed against the EWD Standards. A list of approved EWDs approved will be posted on the NHVR website.
The NHVR has also agreed to waive any regulatory fees for companies or individuals submitting systems for approval during the first year of operations.
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