There are a lot of ways you can get in trouble for breaking the work diary rules. I thought I had seen them all, but recently came across something new and interesting that could have been avoided with some extra caution on my part.
If drivers unexpectedly switch from local driving to 100+km routes they risk being pinged because there is no mention or warning about this change before starting out at least one hour later than usual during weekdays – and sometimes two!
It might seem minor compared to forgetting your wireless mic or leaving duplicate pages behind; however these may cause major delays if not dealt with quickly enough which can lead to termination as well as other consequences like fines/penalty points. So while it may seem insignificant now, the consequences for non compliance can be massive.
Heavy Vehicle National Law
It’s a requirement under the Heavy Vehicle National law for drivers that are operating under standard hours to fill out their work diary for each day of work in which they undertake 100+ km of local or road-related driving.
The driver is expected to record all these activities, including any breaks taken while traveling long distances between sites. This includes all the different traffic conditions that may be encountered along the way such as intersections and bridges that may slow you down but can be safely overtaken. It also includes any time left at the end of the trip before reaching the destination and also any rest areas where you stopped along the way.
When a driver knows they will be doing 100+km of work every day, it’s simple enough to keep track. From the beginning to end of their shift or even during breaks in between tasks; the employee should always take time out for recording everything and anything that could potentially contribute towards completing an entire job correctly.
This includes what was done before starting as well as any additional assignments sent by management later on down the line which may require more than just local driving around town (for instance going to remote or country areas). However, what happens when unexpected journeys arise?
If you had started off expecting only short trips but were subsequently tasked with longer distances at some point throughout your schedule, you may have no idea how much travelling has been logged earlier in the day without reviewing your diary.
In these cases, the Heavy Vehicle National Law still requires drivers to fill in their work diary for the whole day. This means that once the driver realises that they are going to be doing 100+ kilometers of localised driving (and not just 50 km), then you need to fill out what has already happened AND write down where you’ll start at 9am tomorrow morning the night before by 8:59pm last night. This needs to be done as soon as practicable after realising this is going to happen.
If someone doesn’t know how important being timely with entries like these can become, then they will when they realise that they might be subject to court summonses or hefty fines for failure to comply, including a maximum penalty of $11,210.
There are many factors that can cause a lapse in attention, and it’s easy to overlook the most important detail of all. The ‘change of plans’ is often what gets drivers into hot water when they divert from their normal habits during drive time – be aware!
A good rule for anyone who has to drive more than 100 kilometers on any given road trip should take note: always double check work/rest requirements before you start driving so you don’t get yourself into more trouble than need be.
If possible, you should consult with an experienced heavy vehicle lawyer before making any decisions about what actions you think are legal and appropriate when it comes to keeping a work diary. Our team at Ainsley Law are more than happy to chat with you. A quick phone call before you embark on any long distance driving can save you having to call us for help with a court appearance down the track.
Please call us today at 0416 224 601 or leave an enquiry.