VicRoads has issued a reminder to truck drivers in Victoria of the new law that brings the blood-alcohol limit to zero for drivers of heavy vehicles greater than 4.5 tonnes GVM.
The new zero BAC statutory requirement for all heavy vehicle drivers came into effect on April 1, 2021.
Previously the zero BAC requirement only applied to drivers of vehicles with a GVM greater than 15 tonnes. The new law means the zero BAC requirement applies to drivers of all heavy vehicles.
“At a BAC of .05, the risk of being involved in a road crash is about double compared with a BAC of zero. Studies show some drivers can be impaired from as little as 0.02 BAC,” VicRoads said in a statement.
It continued, “Heavy vehicles are more difficult to operate compared to a regular passenger vehicle. Their size and weight make driving and manoeuvring around turns more challenging, slowing down and stopping more time consuming, and loss of control easier, but harder to recover from.
“Alcohol is a depressant, so it slows messages to and from the brain, impacting upon decision-making, slowing reaction time and reducing overall vigilance.”
VicRoads has also created a free online toolkit for the heavy vehicle industry, with input from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, which aims to assist workplaces in building their alcohol and other drugs policy.
It includes information to support businesses to successfully implement and manage the policy and other resources to help identify and manage alcohol and drug problems in the workplace.