Pressures on heavy vehicle drivers report tabled

The New South Wales Legislative Council Committee on Transport and the Arts has tabled the report for its inquiry into pressures on heavy vehicle drivers and their impact in New South Wales.

The inquiry examined the significant pressures on heavy vehicle drivers, particularly managing fatigue and how these pressures impact road safety as well as drivers’ ability to meet industry demands and legal obligations.

The committee also examined the availability, accessibility and suitability of heavy vehicle rest areas in New South Wales given driver fatigue is a major safety concern for the heavy vehicle industry. While the committee found the use of technology is becoming increasingly common in the industry, the strong message from stakeholders was that heavy vehicle rest areas play a significant role in supporting drivers to manage their fatigue and meet regulatory obligations.

In addition, the committee considered the current training requirements for heavy vehicle drivers in New South Wales and found that inadequate basic training of drivers regarding height and load restrictions/limitations of heavy vehicles, and how to secure loads, is contributing to over-height vehicle incidents.

Key recommendations in the report call for the government to:

  • fund and construct more heavy vehicle rest areas, and parking bays and sites, in metropolitan and regional areas in New South Wales in consultation with the transport and freight industry, to ensure heavy vehicle drivers can effectively manage their fatigue and comply with relevant regulations.
  • consider funding a targeted community education campaign for light vehicle drivers on the importance of rest areas for heavy vehicle drivers to discourage their use by cars and caravans.
  • endorse the introduction of competency-based driver training programs for new heavy vehicle drivers and ensure drivers issued with a heavy vehicle licence have the various skill sets and experience needed to drive, and manage, a heavy vehicle.

More information on the inquiry and the final report can be viewed here.

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