4 November 2019
The Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) has welcomed today’s announcement that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has extended the Personal Use Exemption to BFM and AFM drivers.
The National Heavy Vehicle Work and Rest Hours Exemption (Personal Use – BFM and AFM) Notice 2019 (No.1) allows BFM and AFM drivers to use their heavy vehicle for personal activities during their 24hr continuous stationary rest break, including:
- stowing or retrieving personal effects from a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.
- cleaning a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.
- refuelling a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle.
- driving a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal reasons (eg visiting a bank or a post office).
President Stephen Marley said that the exemption would benefit BFM and AFM
drivers who have the same needs as standard hours drivers when resting away
“Short-distance drivers can usually make it home to access sleeping quarters, meals or washing facilities, as well as their own private vehicle for personal use. In contrast, long-distance drivers are often forced to rest at inhospitable locations with no amenities whatsoever,” said President Marley.
“Uninterrupted sleep, eating well and keeping clean are fundamental to maintaining alertness and vehicle control. It is also important to relieve boredom during longer breaks in isolated locations. It is pleasing that the NHVR is listening to the needs of drivers in HVNL states and opting for a holistic approach to fatigue management,” he said.
The NHVR commenced work to establish a Personal Use Exemption for standard hours drivers in response to a 2017 letter from ALRTA. The National Heavy Vehicle Work and Rest Hours Exemption (Personal Use) Notice 2018 allows standard hours drivers to use their heavy vehicle for personal activities between shifts and during the 24hr continuous stationary rest break.
ALRTA subsequently sought to extend the exemption to BFM and AFM drivers during the 24hr continuous stationary rest break, acknowledging that these drivers already have access to additional hours during driving shifts.