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Trucking industry welcomes action on driver medicals

25 March 2020

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has thanked the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator for its response to industry feedback, in today announcing changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme medical and face-to-face audit requirements. 

“Many truck drivers, including drivers who operate under NHVAS fatigue accreditation are required to have regular medicals. The trucking industry is working hard to keep Australia moving amidst the pandemic, but we need to take as much pressure off the health system as possible,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.  

“I would like to thank Sal Petroccitto and the NHVR for listening to the industry and taking action to reduce pressure on trucking businesses, drivers and the health system,” he said.  

For the next six months, the following arrangements will be in place:  

  • heavy vehicle drivers operating under Advanced Fatigue Management (AFM) or Basic Fatigue Management (BFM) accreditations may continue to drive with an expired driver medical, until they can practicably obtain one   
  • auditors can undertake all document and records validation and audits remotely, requesting electronic copies be emailed to them or by another suitable method and conducting conversations over the phone where applicable. 

“Our next priority is to argue that a similar approach should be applied to dangerous goods and multi-combination licence medicals,” Mr Maguire said.  

The ATA has outlined an approach that would enable governments to reduce the number of unnecessary doctors’ appointments, while still requiring medicals for drivers with a higher risk of medical issues. 

The Australian Trucking Association and its member associations collectively represent the businesses and people of the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.