Austroads has released guidelines to help road managers assess the need for, prioritise, plan and design heavy vehicle rest areas (HVRAs) in their planning activities.
Heavy vehicle drivers are often required to work for long hours and are therefore susceptible to fatigue. The guidelines recognise that managing heavy vehicle fatigue is a shared responsibility between road managers, heavy vehicle drivers and operators, and clients.
Road managers are responsible for providing HVRAs which can help drivers manage fatigue and comply with driving hours regulations, by providing an opportunity for sleep and rest breaks.
The new guidelines from Austroads are intended to assist with this issue.
They include an outline of the different types of HVRAs available for road managers to implement to cater for the heavy vehicle driver’s rest needs; guidance on how to assess the need and prioritisation of HVRAs; and the principles of good HVRA design.
Austroad’s guidelines aim to help road managers plan for an environment which supports heavy vehicle drivers to rest before they re-commence driving.
The guidelines also assists heavy vehicle drivers and operators to plan journeys in accordance with heavy vehicle fatigue management regulations.
This includes consideration of available HVRAs and the facilities they provide, and then planning their rest accordingly.
According to the guidelines, clients also need to pay fair and reasonable prices to transport goods, recognising their position in the chain of responsibility and the effect that unrealistic delivery deadlines can have on fatigue and compliance with the law.
The successful operation of HVRAs depends on many factors including planning, design, construction and maintenance.
Austroads hopes that the application of its guidelines by road managers will assist the freight industry to support safe heavy vehicle operations while meeting their requirements within the prescribed heavy vehicle driving hours regulatory framework.
The guidelines draw on and provide an update to the 2005 National Transport Commission Guidelines.
They also incorporate guidance outlined in ‘A Proposed HVRA Needs and Prioritisation Methodology’, published by Austroads in 2012.
The guidelines may be found here.