Truckie ordered to buy EWD in lieu of charges and $103k fine

mandatory EWD

A driver facing six charges of fatigue breaches and a maximum penalty of $103,440 has instead been ordered to obtain an Electronic Work Diary (EWD) by the South Australian court.

This is the third successful application of a Supervisory Intervention Order (SIO) by the NHVR and the first time a court has ordered an EWD to address fatigue breaches, said the regulator in its fortnightly newsletter released today.

Upon inspection of the vehicle’s load and driver’s work diary, the driver confirmed to NHVR safety compliance officers in South Australia they had worked a total of 15 hours in a 24-hour period, which was in breach of the fatigue rules under the Heavy Vehicle National Law.

The driver appeared in court and pleaded guilty, with the NHVR prosecutions team recommending an SIO as appropriate.

The court ordered the driver pay a $6,000 fine, wholly suspended if compliant with the SIO, which was approved in the form requested by the NHVR Prosecutions team.

As part of the SIO, the driver is required to:

  • Purchase an NHVR-approved EWD
  • Record their driving and rest breaks in the EWD
  • Report their EWD records to the NHVR

NHVR Director of Prosecutions, Belinda Hughes said the order reflected the NHVR’s approach to seek sentences that are appropriate and proportionate to the nature of the safety risk and behaviour.

“These orders address the offending behaviour by focusing on education and strategies to prevent an offence occurring again,” Hughes said.

“In this case, the driver does not have to pay a fine, provided he complies with the 12 month court order.

“We hope that by using an EWD, the driver will improve his trip planning and ensuring he has adequate rest breaks preventing future fatigue breaches.”

For information on the benefits of an EWD, click here.

Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that the driver faced four fatigue breach charges with a maximum penalty of $67,320, as relayed to us by the NHVR.

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