National Heavy Vehicle Regulator
From 21 January 2013 the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) is responsible for the administration of the Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) and Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) Schemes. You will no longer deal directly with the department or the National Transport Commission (NTC).
- receives all AFM applications
- coordinates the processing of applications
- has a dedicated AFM team to handle your enquiries
Visit the Fatigue Management AFM Scheme section of the NHVR website for more information.
Driver fatigue or ‘drowsy driving’ is a significant safety hazard for the road transport industry. The main causes of ‘drowsy driving’ are too little sleep, driving at times when you would normally be asleep and working or being awake for very long hours.
National reforms were developed to combat heavy vehicle driver fatigue. The laws are for drivers of fatigue regulated heavy vehicles.
The fatigue laws cover:
- working hours
- work diaries
- fatigue management accreditation schemes
- chain of responsibility.
Each person in the supply chain must take all reasonable steps to ensure a heavy vehicle driver can perform his or her duties without breaching road transport laws.
Fatigue regulated heavy vehicles
A fatigue regulated heavy vehicle is:
- a vehicle with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of over 12t
- a combination when the total of the GVM is over 12t
- buses over 4.5t with a seating capacity of more than 12 adults (including the driver).
A truck, or a combination including a truck, with a GVM of over 12t with a machine or implement attached to it is a fatigue regulated heavy vehicle.
Some heavy vehicles are not classed as fatigue regulated heavy vehicles. These include trams, motor vehicles modified to primarily operate as a machine or implement (agricultural machinery, bulldozers, tractors, etc.) and motor homes specifically modified for residential purposes (not just built with a sleeper berth).
General duty requires all parties in the supply chain to take all reasonable steps to prevent the fatigue of heavy vehicle drivers. This is similar to occupational health and safety laws and means that:
drivers must stop if they are feeling tired and take short-term fatigue measures such as rest breaks
operators and schedulers must allow for adequate driver rest breaks and have flexible back-up plans to compensate for unplanned delays
loaders, unloaders and loading managers must make sure queuing is managed so loading/unloading is done in a way to prevent fatigue
consignors and consignees must make sure the terms of consignment will not result in, encourage, or provide an incentive for the driver (or a relevant party of the driver) to breach fatigue management laws.
Note: Contracts that require a driver to break the law are illegal.
Working hours options
There are three working hours options for operating under the fatigue management laws:
- Standard Hours (SH) for operators who do not have accreditation for fatigue management
- Basic fatigue management (BFM) for operators requiring some flexibility in their work and rest hours
- Advanced fatigue management (AFM) for operators who are able to demonstrate accountability for managing fatigue risks.
Drivers must work to standard hours if the operator they work for does not hold BFM or AFM accreditation. To be eligible to operate under BFM or AFM, operators must be appropriately accredited under the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme.
Persons can drive as solo drivers, or drive under a two-up arrangement. Two-up driving means 2 persons share the driving task of a fatigue regulated heavy vehicle fitted with an approved sleeper berth.
Additional information about two-up driving can be found in the Drivers fact sheet or in the National Transport Commission’s (NTC) publication HVDF TwoUp Driving explained.
National driver work diaries
Drivers of fatigue regulated heavy vehicles must complete and carry a national driver work diary in certain circumstances.
Requirement to complete a work diary
Drivers of fatigue regulated heavy vehicles must complete a work diary if they are, or if they have in the last 28 days been:
- working more than 200km from their base location
- working under any fatigue management accreditation (BFM/AFM)
- driving under a work and rest hours exemption.
The driver’s base location is the place from which the driver normally works and receives instructions. This may be the 'garage address' of the vehicle, the location from which the business is operated, or another place such as a depot or site.
If drivers are working in another jurisdiction for less than 7 days they must continue to comply with their Queensland driving hours option and use their work diary. If they are operating in another jurisdiction for more than 7 days they should work to the fatigue management scheme of that jurisdiction.
The contact details for each jurisdiction can be found on the NTC website.
Work diaries must be completed in an approved way. Detailed instructions on how to complete a work diary can be found in the front of each work diary or in the Work Diary fact sheet.
Requirement to carry a work diary
Drivers must carry any work diary containing work and rest records of the last 28 days in the vehicle if they were required to record their working hours at any time in that period.
A work diary may include:
- a full (completed) work diary
- a supplementary work record
- a current work diary.
Work and rest time record keeping
A record keeper is the employer, operator or driver of a vehicle (if he/she is self employed or an owner driver). Record keepers must keep copies of work diary pages, as well as records of driver rosters and payments to drivers for 3 years for audit purposes.
Records of driver work and rest time which do not have to be recorded in a work diary must also be kept by the record keeper.
If you are self-employed you must keep copies of all your work diaries and daily sheets. If you are an employed driver, your employer must keep these copies.
Replacement work diaries
Drivers should get a new work diary before their current one is filled up. Work diaries are available from customer service centres, Queensland Government Agent Program offices, and some regional police stations.
Drivers must report a lost, stolen or destroyed work diary in writing to a road agency within 2 days. Drivers may use sample national driver work diary sheets as a supplementary work record for up to 7 business days until a new work diary is obtained.
For more information, view a sample national driver work diary daily sheet and the instructions for its use. A sample can also be found on the NTC website.
Electronic work diary pilot
New South Wales Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) in partnership with the NTC, the Australian Government, state road agencies and state police is conducting an operational pilot of electronic work diaries.
The electronic work diary pilot (the Pilot) is being conducted with the cooperation of transport industry associations, transport operators and drivers and the active participation of transport agencies.
Visit the Electronic work diary website for more information.
Fatigue offence demerit points and penalties
Demerit point offences and fines are in force for drivers of fatigue regulated heavy vehicles who commit work diary and/or work/rest driving-hour breaches. Penalties are proportionate to the offence.
Court imposed fines may be issued to any party under Chain of Responsibility provisions if their actions, inactions or instructions contribute to a breach in road transport laws.