Bulletin 3: Released on 16 January 2020
Bushfires are continuing to impact heavy vehicle operations across Australia.
The following Bulletin provides important information in relation to OSOM restrictions, fatigue provisions and the bushfire recovery.
NHVR is urging all heavy vehicle operators to take steps to ensure safe travel when operating in and around areas affected by bushfires.
Where possible operators should avoid travelling in bushfire impacted zones, however if required, be aware of local emergency access arrangements.
Personal Use Exemption available
Operators should be aware of options when using a fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle for personal use, particularly in areas where there are no alternative means of transport.
The Personal use exemption, allows an additional hour for private or non-commercial activities, such as reaching suitable sleeping accommodation and restocking supplies for a trip. The exemption applies if the truck is unladen or unhitched.
Drivers using the exemption still have a responsibility to manage their own fatigue and stop driving if tired.
The NHVR recently extended the exemption to include drivers operating under Basic and Advanced Fatigue Management, as well as under Standard hours.
For more information on the Personal use exemption visit www.nhvr.gov.au/fatigue-personal-use
Understand emergency fatigue provisions – what you can and can’t do
An emergency services work and rest hour exemption may apply if working with or under the direction of emergency services. This includes transporting relief supplies or working to restore essential utilities and services.
For this exemption to apply, written or verbal direction must be received from emergency service personnel.
While the direction may exempt you from complying with work and rest limits and maintaining work diaries, they do not exempt an operator or a driver from managing fatigue.
Drivers should keep a record of any instruction given by emergency services.
Drivers should stop work and rest immediately if they are feeling fatigued at any time while operating a heavy vehicle.
|The NHVR has been out across eastern Victoria over the past few days escorting drivers through fire affected areas, along narrow or damaged roads often under poor visibility and missing signage. Pictured is one of three loads of hay in a convoy for “Need for Feed” being escorted to properties between Bairnsdale and Orbost. The NHVR thanks operators for their assistance and care when accessing these areas.|
OSOM Restrictions lifted in Southern NSW
Transport for NSW advises that the restrictions placed on OSOM travel in Southern NSW last week as a result of bushfires have now been lifted.
The situation in this area is still unpredictable and conditions may change at short notice. Operators are requested to maintain a high level of caution when travelling in these areas.
There are still a significant number of emergency service and Defence Force vehicles assisting with the recovery effort. Roads could be affected by smoke and there may still be damage in some areas as a result of the fires.
Operators are asked to visit www.livetraffic.com for the latest traffic information, download the Live Traffic NSW app or call 132 701.
National Bushfire Recovery Agency
The Federal Government has made resources available through its National Bushfire Recovery Agency, which has been set up to coordinate a national response to rebuilding communities affected by bushfires.
Although conditions remain volatile in areas across Australia, the Government is allocating short-term assistance for those in need.
For more information see frequently asked questions and bushfire recovery assistance information and contacts.
Heavy vehicle access across bushfire affected areas.
The NHVR is experiencing a significantly increased number of permit applications. We request operators to avoid any non-essential permit applications in the coming weeks.
Heavy vehicle operators on the road should take a number of steps when accessing bushfire-affected areas.
- Check the local road conditions through state government websites. A list of websites with the latest information about road conditions can be found below.
- If travelling in an affected area, check with local emergency services or recovery operations.
- Ensure your vehicle is able to travel on the existing network. If you’re travelling outside of these networks, you may need to obtain a permit through the NHVR Portal at www.service.nhvr.gov.au or call 1300 696 487 for assistance.
Ensure you have enough food and water supplies in case of unexpected conditions, and avoid using back tracks or off-network roads to get around road closures.
If fires have interfered with your ability to lodge access or accreditation applications please get in contact with us on 1300 MYNHVR (1300 696 487) or firstname.lastname@example.org so we can provide appropriate support and guidance.
NHVR to provide support to meet accreditation requirements
Due to recent bushfire activity over an extended period of time, it is possible some NHVAS accreditations could have lapsed with operators unable to lodge the required ‘maintain accreditation’ application or not being able to meet their audit commitments.
With consideration to the extreme circumstances, should such a situation be the case, please contact the NHVR accreditation team so that we can provide appropriate support and guidance for continuation in the NHVAS.