Less than four truckies in every 100 found themselves facing “fatigue-related compliance action” during the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) pre-Christmas campaign to combat driver fatigue.
The NHVR partnered with police across the country to conduct Operation Forager over four weeks from November 20 in a bid to “heighten awareness about the critical nature of managing fatigue while driving heavy vehicles”.
NHVR chief operations Officer Paul Salvati said over the course of the operation, NHVR officers conducted more than 5350 heavy vehicle intercepts across the southern and central regions.
Of the total intercepts conducted by NHVR officers, just 207, or 3.8 per cent, resulted in fatigue-related compliance action, said Salvati.
“Unfortunately, 129 of these offences were detected for driver’s exceeding their allowable work hours, or not taking adequate periods of rest,” he said.
Work diary and “fatigue-related education” was provided in a further 623 of those intercepts, accounting for 156 hours of roadside education with drivers.
“Operation Forager shows the effectiveness of our holistic approach to safety, that combines education with enforcement, ensuring that heavy vehicle operators are not only aware of the regulations but also equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions on the road about their safety,” Salvati said.
“I would like to commend the heavy vehicle industry for their safety efforts over the busy holiday period, particularly during the severe weather events we experienced across the country.”
Salvati said Operation Forager placed a strong emphasis on the importance of maintaining accurate work diaries as a critical tool in complying with work and rest hour requirements and preventing fatigue-related incidents.
“By investing significant time and effort in educating heavy vehicle drivers on work diaries and fatigue, especially
new drivers, we aim to create a lasting impact that extends beyond the duration of this operation,” Salvati said.
“Education is an investment in safety. By ensuring drivers understand the importance of accurate work diaries, we are arming them with the knowledge to actively manage their work and rest hours.”
In an earlier story with Big Rigs, Salvati said the regulator always placed more importance on education over infringements, and drivers shouldn’t think that campaigns such as this are all about “revenue raising”.
“That’s not how we operate,” he said.
“Almost none of the revenue from infringements comes to us. So, there’s no point in us writing infringements because we don’t get any benefit from it directly.
“The only benefit we get is if we change someone’s behaviour, we don’t set targets, we never do.”