TOO WORDY: Justice Peek said the work diary isn't as easy to follow as it could be.
TOO WORDY: Justice Peek said the work diary isn't as easy to follow as it could be.

Judge concedes log books could be a lot clearer

A TRUCKIE may have lost his appeal in the SA Supreme Court for a paperwork diary breach, but he scored a win of sorts for those lobbying for changes.

In his findings for Ballantyne v National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Justice David Peek conceded that although the work diaries are not invalid, they could be more "user friendly”.

He was responding to the appellant who submitted that the Act itself is very long, complex and hard for ordinary people to read or understand; and that the examples in the log books issued to truckies are not as clear as they might be.

"I must say that he does have something of a point here, although I stress that I do not consider that the log books or the examples therein are in any way invalid,” writes Justice Peek.

"It seems to me that, without in any way trying to be comprehensive, the single most obvious improvement might be to expressly state, loudly and clearly, that following the end of a major rest break there can be two overlapping 24-hour periods running at the same time.

"The first such period is the old 24-hour period that was running prior to the beginning of the major rest break (if it did not conclude during the course of that major rest break).

"The second period running would be the new 24-hour period that commences at the end of that major rest break. The trap for the driver in such circumstances is that when he commences the new 24-hour period following the major rest break he may be concentrating only on that new forthcoming 24-hour period and not appreciate fully that for some hours the old period may also still be running.”

The truckie had been charged with working more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period. His work diary indicated he had worked for 13 and three quarter hours.

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