The following article is an abridgement of an article originally published on the NHVR website.
A company has been fined $65,000 and ordered to adopt electronic work diaries and enhanced fatigue management training after the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) found systemic fatigue and speed breaches.
The NHVR investigations unit charged the company after analysing national driver work diaries, fuel records, GPS data, and heavy vehicle sightings, revealing 543 total infringements between August 2020 and April 2022. These breaches, mostly by four drivers, included 44 work and rest offences, 93 instances of providing false or misleading information, and 406 speeding violations. The company pleaded guilty to a Category 3 Offence under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL).
The company was convicted and fined $65,000, plus a Supervisory Intervention Order (SIO) for 12 months, requiring significant operational reforms, such as:
Originally, the maximum penalty available was over $500,000 but the court discounted the fine because of the extensive remedial work that the company had put in place since the offending.
NHVR Director of Prosecutions, Belinda Hughes, said the severity of the breaches could have had serious consequences for driver and community safety if left undetected. She urged the industry to review their safety processes and systems to prevent fatigue and speed risks.
“Fatigue continues to be the central issue that we see in serious injury and death collisions. Please review your safety processes and systems to ensure that your drivers are not at risk of fatigue."
NHVR Director of Investigations, Emma Watson, said the outcome reflects the strong commitment to carrying out the investigation and the positive outcomes using SIOs.
“The investigation revealed the company failed to support their employees with the relevant safety measures and this outcome is a commitment to seeing these standards improved."
NHVR’s website offers resources to assist operators, schedulers, and drivers in understanding their responsibilities under the HVNL. Drivers who feel pressured to operate while fatigued can call the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Hotline at 1800 931 785.
Read more about fatigue management here.