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Driving Hours for the Bus Sector


Driving Hours for the Bus Sector

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									                                                                   HEAVY VEHICLE DRIVER FATIGUE REFORM
                                                                          Information Bulletin 11

Driving Hours for the Bus Sector
A variation to Standard Hours for buses and coaches recognises the needs of some low
risk applications
Introduction to the Bus Sector                                     Work and Rest
New national road transport Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue           Work refers to all driving and any other tasks related to the
laws, for implementation in 2008, set revised work and             operation of a heavy vehicle including cleaning or refuelling
rest limits for heavy vehicle drivers and require better           the vehicle or completing record keeping etc. All other time
management of driver fatigue.                                      is counted as rest. Time is counted in 15 minute intervals
                                                                   and is recorded according to the time of the driver’s base.
Recognising the diversity of the heavy vehicle industry and
the need for flexibility across a wide range of transport          Work is a maximum so is always rounded upwards e.g. a
operations, the National Transport Commission has                  period less than 15 minutes is counted as 15 minutes work,
developed a three-tier approach to fatigue management (see         a period more than 15 minutes up to 30 minutes is counted
Table 1).                                                          as 30 minutes work etc.

Table 1: Fatigue Management Modules                                Rest is a minimum period so is always rounded downwards
                                                                   e.g. a period less than 15 minutes does not count towards
 Module              Requirements                                  rest while a period of 15 minutes but less than 30 minutes
 Standard Hours      Minimum prescribed rest and working           is counted as 15 minutes rest etc. Rest periods of 30 or 60
                     hours                                         minutes can be taken in 15 minute periods e.g. 2x15 minutes
 Standard Hours      As above, with variation for low risk         = 30 minutes.
 (Bus and coach      bus applications
 Basic Fatigue       More permissive hours, with increased
 Management          responsibility for fatigue management
 (NHVAS)             compliance-assurance
 Advanced Fatigue Risk management and quality
 Management       assurance approach to manage
 (NHVAS)          specific fatigue risks

The bus industry will have access to default Standard
Hours (Bus Option). This option caters for the bulk of the
bus industry who have a good safety record and undertake
minimal night operations. Bus operations needing more
flexibility will have access to the same Standard Hours
option as the trucking industry. This option still targets low
risk operations requiring up to 12 hours work each day but
which require more night time work.

If greater flexibility is needed, including more flexible hours,
you should look at the Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) and
Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) options.

The basis of the reform is working safer, not less hours. If
you manage the proven risk of working long hours and night
shifts, BFM and AFM will give you a greater say in when
you can work and rest. This includes taking steps to manage
driver fatigue such as planning rosters, trips and schedules
training drivers and schedulers and checking records for
                                                                                                         Driving Hours for the Bus Sector

Standard Hours (Bus Sector)                                          Other Fatigue Modules
The Standard Hours option sets out minimum rest and                  Bus drivers needing to work more night shifts can choose
maximum work hours which is the default options for all              the regular Standard Hours option under which a driver
heavy vehicle drivers. Note that work refers to all driving          needs a minimum 4 night rest in 14 days but must also
and any other activity which is not rest. This option sets the       have a 24 hour rest every 7 days. As with truck drivers,
maximum amount of work at 12 hours in 24 hours but it also           bus operators who need more flexible hours can apply to
introduces more flexible short rest breaks.                          operate under BFM or AFM in return for better management
                                                                     of driver fatigue. These options provide more flexible
A Standard Hours (Bus Sector) option introduces a specific           work/rest limits provided you put appropriate checks and
variation to Standard Hours for bus and coach operations,            balances in place to manage the higher risk of driver fatigue.
which effectively allows days off to be ‘banked’ over 28 days
low risk bus operations. This variation will be limited to bus       Checks and balances may include taking steps such as
and coach applications where night work and total hours              planning rosters, trips and schedules carefully ensuring your
are low. The variation allows tour bus drivers time to fully         drivers have enough time to take rest breaks, driver and
recuperate after the completing a tour and can be used by            scheduler training, etc. See separate information bulletins on
school bus drivers who work limited hours.                           Standard Hours, BFM and AFM for more information.

Table 2: Standard Hours (Bus and Coach Option)                       National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme
 In any        Maximum WORK          Minimum REST                    BFM and AFM options will be new modules of the National
 period of                                                           Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) alongside
 …                                                                   the existing mass and maintenance modules. Bus operators
                                                                     looking for greater flexibility may be accredited either under
 5 hours 30    5 hours 15            15 minutes
                                                                     existing State-based bus accreditation schemes (if available)
 minutes       minutes
                                                                     or directly through NHVAS.
 8 hours       7 hours 30            30 minutes (can be 2 x
               minutes               15 minutes)                     General Duty
 11 hours      10 hours              60 minutes                      Under the new laws a ‘general duty’ (similar to OH&S laws)
 24 hours      12 hours              12 hours including (7 hrs       requires all parties take all reasonable steps to prevent the
                                     continuous)                     fatigue of heavy vehicle drivers. This means for example
 7 days (168                         6 x 7 night rests               that:
 hours)                                                              • drivers must stop if feeling tired or fatigued;
                                                                     • operators and schedulers must plan when driver’s rest;
 28 days       288 hours             4 x 24 hours rest periods
                                                                     • contacts that require a driver break the law are illegal.
Night Work
Under the Standard Hours (Bus Sector) option a driver                Work Diary
must take 6 nights rest in 7. This option is aimed primarily
                                                                     A new work diary has been designed for drivers involved
at low risk bus operations. This option also provides more
                                                                     in non local area operations (more than 100 kms from
flexibility over 28 days for low risk applications.
                                                                     driver base). If working outside the local area, the driver
                                                                     will be required to use this document to record all work
Flexible Short Rest Breaks
                                                                     and rest activities to provide proof of compliance with the
The Standard Hours (Bus Sector) option gives drivers more            regulations and proof that both the driver and the company
opportunities to take short rest breaks when they feel tired         are managing driver fatigue properly (work diaries must also
especially later in a shift when fatigue starts to cut in. Drivers   be used for local work in New South Wales).
must take a minimum 15 minute rest break (under current
regulations this is 30 minutes) within the first 5 hours 30          Further Information
minutes of work. This approach shifts the emphasis to taking
                                                                     The National Transport Commission has developed the
regular short rest breaks later in a shift when a driver starts
                                                                     ‘Guidelines for Managing Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue’ to
to feel tired. Importantly this option provides a defence
                                                                     assist you to comply with the new laws. These Guidelines
for drivers allowing up to 45 minutes additional driving, if
                                                                     are for use by everyone in the road transport supply chain.
needed, in order to find a suitable rest area.
                                                                     They provide guidance for drivers, employers, operators
                                                                     and schedulers, as well as users and customers of road
Importantly this option provides a special defence for drivers
                                                                     transport on managing heavy vehicle driver fatigue and on
(allowing up to 45 minutes additional driving) to ensure
                                                                     the responsibilities of each of these parties under the new
they are not unfairly penalised if a suitable rest area is not
available (note: this nationally agreed provision will not
apply in New South Wales or Victoria).
                                                                     This bulletin cannot explain all of your obligations under
                                                                     the new laws. Further information on fatigue and copies of
                                                                     the Guidelines are available from your local road transport
                                                                     authority or may be obtained from the NTC website


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