The successful Chain of Responsibility prosecution of a Queensland company for fatigue related breaches sounds a warning to transport operators to take their data management responsibilities seriously.
In his comments on the case the NHVR’s Executive Director of Statutory Compliance, Ray Hassall said that “it was clear that the company failed to do everything reasonably practicable to prevent these breaches.”
Among the reasons Mr Hassall cited included “not monitoring the GPS data from the trucks to ensure the drivers were complying with their fatigue requirements.”
The uptake of telematics systems, to allow better monitoring of driver behaviour and vehicle performance, is one of the key strategies operators need to use to manage their safety responsibilities according to HVIA’s National Manager Policy and Government Relations Greg Forbes.
“In our 2018 Safer Trucks and Trailers policy paper, HVIA argued that Modern Vehicles and in particular modern braking and engine control systems provide a wealth of data that can be useful in managing the safety of your fleet and the behaviour of your drivers,” Mr Forbes said.
“These systems are not expensive, and implementing them is certainly reasonably practicable.
“It looks like this prosecutions under the COR Law is starting to put some teeth behind this.”
Mr Forbes argues that fleet maintenance and purchasing decisions should also be on operators minds when they think about their safety responsibilities under the law.
“If you fail to maintain your fleet properly, don’t have a sensible fleet replacement strategy or don’t order the latest safety features when you buy that new truck, you may be opening yourself up to risks under the COR legislation,” Mr Forbes added.
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