The National Transport Commission (NTC) today released the Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Data final report which was recently endorsed by the Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials Committee (TISOC).
The final report incorporated stakeholder feedback on the discussion paper released in August last year, said chief executive of the National Transport Commission Paul Retter.
“We know that fatigue is a major contributor to crashes but without more rigorous data we won’t know what reforms will reduce the problem and make Australia’s roads safer for everyone,” Retter said.
“The regulation of driver fatigue is a complex policy issue and more detailed research needs to be done on its causes and impacts.”
He said the fatigue data framework would help to ensure data about the frequency and impact of driver fatigue was collected in a consistent and comparable way across the nation’s states and territories.
The framework developed by the NTC will see four fatigue-related projects being pursued, and the NTC said these projects will:
conduct new research to evaluate the fatigue impact of the current laws
develop nationally consistent definitions and measurements of fatigue
analyse commercial data to evaluate the frequency and impact of fatigue regulations, and
review road agencies’ ability to link crash data to driver accreditation.
Research activities will be conducted by the Alertness Safety and Productivity Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), which will conduct comparative research in both laboratory and field environments.
This will include evaluating the accuracy of existing fatigue monitoring technology. Anyone interested in financially contributing to the CRC should contact them as soon as possible.
Retter said the fatigue data framework would also obtain more data about the use of nose-to-tail shifts, where a heavy vehicle driver works two long work periods within a 24 hour period with a major rest break in between.
This work would consider factors such as insufficient sleep, long work shifts, the impact of circadian rhythms and the frequency of nose-to-tail schedules.
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