This rule sets out how the limits to the work time hours for a driver of a vehicle that requires a class 2, 3, 4, or 5 licence, or is used in a transport service (other than a rental service), or carries goods for hire or reward, are to be administered.
The rule is available in consolidated format (ie, a full, up-to-date, version of the rule including all its amendments) or as the original, unamended rule with separate amendment rules. Choose the option that best suits your needs from the list below.
To access the consolidated version of the rule (available only in PDF format), click on ‘Consolidation’ below.
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This amendment Rule will make changes to Land Transport Rule: Work Time and Logbooks Amendment 2007 (the Work Time and Logbooks Rule or ‘the Rule’).
All the provisions of the amendment Rule will come into force on 1 April 2010. Until that date, the existing requirements in the Work Time and Logbooks Rule will continue to apply.
The amendment makes a minor change to the prescribed form of a logbook, however, logbooks that were approved under the current Rule before 1 April 2010 may continue to be used.
Primary legislation (the Land Transport Act 1998) (the Act) limits the number of hours that can be worked by drivers of heavy vehicles and some commercial light vehicles (such as taxis).The Work Time and Logbooks Rule provides additional detail about how the Act applies; for example, it sets out how the limits to work time hours prescribed in the Act are to be administered and the form of the logbooks that many drivers have to maintain.
The Act sets work time limits for:
The Rule was introduced in October 2007 and marked a new approach to governing ‘driving hours’ and managing the road safety risk of driver fatigue compared with that under the previous legislation (ie, the Transport Act 1962). Some concerns and issues raised subsequently by industry groups and the New Zealand Police were not apparent when the Rule was first drafted, and were not highlighted in submissions on the Rule. The amendment Rule focuses on addressing these concerns and makes changes to the way in which variations of work time requirements are dealt with in particular situations. The amendment Rule also clarifies some aspects of the Rule.
The Rule currently provides a ferry exemption that allows drivers whose working day includes a ferry trip of at least one hour to extend their permitted hours, for that day only.
The Rule clarifies that it is the actual sailing and docking times of the vessel that need to be recorded in a logbook, not the ferry's scheduled sailing or docking time. A detailed example has been inserted into the Rule explaining how this variation is designed to operate.
The Police, the NZ Fire Service, any fire brigade, and any ambulance service are defined in the Rule as an emergency service. An emergency service driver is allowed to extend his or her work time hours to attend a “priority call” - where there's an immediate risk to someone's life or health.
Essential services include companies that supply power, water and gas or are involved in restoring access after a road closure. Essential service drivers are permitted to extend their hours, under defined conditions, in order to restore services or restore access.
The Rule already makes it clear that when a “priority call” extends beyond the prescribed limit for work time in that day, that driver must then take a 10-hour continuous period of rest before undertaking further work governed by work time requirements.
However, the Rule does not specify what should happen when a driver is not able to take a rest break of at least 30 minutes, before the 5½-hour limit for continuous work time is reached, because they have been required to attend a priority call. The amendment makes it clear that the deferred rest break must be taken as soon as is practicable after the priority call is completed.
The amendment Rule extends the variation to work time hours for essential service drivers to cover other drivers providing warning of a hazard when a road is closed or to which access is restricted, who are controlling traffic, and those working to re-open rail access. Any driver who is called upon urgently by the Police to assist in an accident or incident, for example, by clearing a crash site, will also be included within the definition of essential service drivers.
When road access is cut (for example, by flooding) the role of people controlling traffic or providing hazard warning is to ensure the safety of crew working to restore access and of any motorists who arrive at the scene. The amendment also makes it clear that “restoring” access (eg, clearing a slip) is covered by the variation, rather than just “repair” work. If drivers involved in restoring access are already covered by this variation, it seems sensible to also include staff working alongside them in a safety role.
Drivers working to restore rail access are also now included in this provision, since they are also expected to work under some urgency in a crisis, in the same way as drivers concerned with clearing a blocked road.
Mobile crane operators have advised the NZTA that they (and others, such as those operating vehicle recovery services) are occasionally called out by the Police for road clearance after hours. In doing so, however, they could, potentially, be charged with a breach of the driving hour limits because they are not covered by a work time variation. They can't be described as “under contract” to the Police, so are not covered by the current provisions. The proposed amendment focuses on allowing people who are called out urgently, to assist in an accident or incident, to extend their hours.
The Rule currently allows a variation to working hours for a person involved in “emergency works” where a risk to property exists. This excludes some possible situations where “personal risk” applies. The variation still requires the “emergency works” to be directed by a local authority or the Police.
Reserve force training takes place mainly on weekends (or at an annual camp). Weekend training usually finishes on a Sunday afternoon. For a driver who is subject to work time hours, and has not had a 24-hour break immediately prior to the training, this means that they can't resume other work until late Monday afternoon. The change in the Rule allows those drivers to “restart” their working week after a 16-hour break.
The minimum break (of 16 hours) is intended to ensure adequate time for sleep before re-commencing other work; and this variation will not be available on consecutive weekends.
The previous restriction to transport service operators excluded couriers and others who are subject to work time requirements but who are not operators. The changes also allow the organisers of an event (such as a charity truck parade) to apply for a one-off variation of the 24-hour break requirement.
Some people are not driving vehicles subject to work time limits and/or logbooks full time but are undertaking a range of other duties during a cumulative work period (the term used in the Act to describe the days between 24-hour rest breaks, commonly referred to as a working week). The Rule requires that, when driving that is subject to logbook use is commenced part-way through a cumulative work period, a record of the days back to the last 24-hour break must also be completed. This proposed change would allow less detail to be recorded in the logbook record on “non-driving days”. It would not, however, permit gaps in the record across a cumulative work period.
The Rule previously exempted (subject to conditions) tractors and similar vehicles owned or operated by farmers from the requirement to complete a logbook. However, it does not exempt the same types of vehicle when operated by agricultural contractors. There is also the practical difficulty that many agricultural contractors are also farm owners. Both types of vehicle are generally driven only short distances and at low speeds, therefore it makes sense to treat all drivers of those vehicles in the same way.
Some ‘time-critical’ responses to calls for ambulance services sit on the boundary between tasks that can be described as a “priority call” and those that would not meet the “imminent risk” criteria in the Rule. Ambulance service representatives asked that a broader definition of this term be introduced, to allow for situations in which patient care requires transfer from one facility to another in a time-critical manner, even if there is no “imminent” risk to life. To be regarded as a priority situation the risk will no longer need to be “imminent” but is still restricted to “serious” situations.
The Rule now allows the use of a printer code for logbooks with a combination of numbers or letters that designate the book.
When the Rule was drafted it included, as part of the logbook form, a reference to a “book code” (distinguishing each logbook) that had letters not numbers. Printers commented on the draft form, but no-one raised concerns about the book code until the first requests for approving logbook formats came in. It then became clear that printers had systems that could place a sequential number on each logbook, but would have to invest in new machinery to have a letter-based code.
Logbook suppliers noted that the change to an all-letter requirement would lead to a significant increase in logbook prices, because of the need to purchase the new machinery to meet the requirement. Approved forms to date have allowed printers to use a number code. The Rule now reflects the accepted (and sensible) practice.
A small change in the explanatory text has also been made in the amendment Rule the use of the term “in any 24-hours” as part of the advisory text was not in line with the way that the Rule defines a day. The replacement text is “in any cumulative work day”.
No, the Rule specifies that a logbook format already approved under this Rule will continue to be valid.
The amendment also tidies up a number of other provisions that have been shown, in practice, to be unclear. These include:
The Land Transport Act 1998 allows the Minister of Transport to make Land Transport Rules. Section 158(b)(vi)(A) and (F) specifically refers to the Minister's powers to make Rules concerning work time and logbooks.
No additional offences or penalties are required to give effect to the amendment Rule.
To raise awareness of this law change, information for affected stakeholders and industry groups will be distributed when the amendment Rule is signed.
Final rules are available on our website. A copy of the final amendment Rule will be available for purchase from selected bookshops that sell legislation or direct from Wickliffe Limited, telephone (06) 358 8231.
Further information about the amendment Rule may be obtained by calling the NZ Transport Agency Contact Centre on Freephone 0800 699 000.
Page created: 24 February 2010