About NTC / News / Media releases

Heavy vehicle drivers and operators are a step closer to being able to replace their onerous written work diaries with electronic work diaries (EWDs) with the passing of the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015.

Next step towards heavy vehicle drivers replacing work diaries with EWDs

18 September 2015

Heavy vehicle drivers and operators are a step closer to being able to replace their onerous written work diaries with electronic work diaries (EWDs) with the passing of the Heavy Vehicle National Law Amendment Bill 2015.

Chief Executive of the National Transport Commission Paul Retter said the bill implemented the National Transport Commission’s reforms to permit the use of EWDs instead of written work diaries.

He said the new laws would help heavy vehicle drivers comply with the existing requirements that set the maximum number of hours heavy vehicle drivers are able to work.

“EWDs make it much easier to comply with the law and stay safe on the road,” Mr Retter said.

“The heavy vehicle drivers who choose to use an EWD will also receive extra benefits from using them such as receiving alerts when breaks are required.”

The laws enact the recommendations put by the NTC to Australia’s transport ministers in May last year.

Importantly the laws ensure drivers who choose to use an EWD won’t be fined for small breaches of less than eight minutes. This eight minute rule will not apply to rest time and drivers will have a total of eight minutes for a whole 24 hour period, starting from a major rest break. For example, a driver who exceeds work time by five minutes in the first period of work may only exceed work time by up to three minutes for the rest of that 24-hour period, unless the driver makes up for the five minutes at a later time in that day. This is intended to make it impractical to deliberately schedule the additional eight minutes as work time.

“The implementation of EWDs will be voluntary, but we expect many drivers will choose them once they are widely commercially available,” Mr Retter said

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will now be charged with developing operational procedures to approve EWDs for use by transport operators and drivers, and to ensure transport compliance officers have the right technical equipment and support to read the data from an EWD.

Last Updated: 18/11/2016