Driver fatigue report released

The new fatigue data framework aims to promote fresh research to evaluate the impact of current laws

Driver fatigue report released
NTC chief executive Paul Retter says the fatigue data framework will help ensure data is collected in a consistent and comparable way across all states and territories.


The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released the Heavy vehicle driver fatigue data final report that sets a national framework to collect and analyse fatigue data to "better inform future fatigue policy".

NTC chief executive Paul Retter says the design of the framework and the priority fatigue issues in the report incorporate stakeholder feedback to Developing a heavy vehicle fatigue data framework discussion paper released in August 2015.

"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 says.

"The regulation of driver fatigue is a complex policy issue and more detailed research needs to be done on its causes and impacts."

Retter says the fatigue data framework will help to ensure data about the frequency and impact of driver fatigue is 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:

  • 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
  • review road agencies’ ability to link crash data to driver accreditation.

The Alertness Safety and Productivity Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) will conduct comparative research in both laboratory and field environments.

It will include evaluating the accuracy of existing fatigue monitoring technology.

Retter says the fatigue data framework will 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.

It will consider factors such as insufficient sleep, long work shifts, the impact of circadian rhythms and the frequency of nose-to-tail schedules.

The national framework is a collaborative initiative between the NTC, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), CRC, road agencies, police and industry. 

The report has been endorsed by the Transport and Infrastructure Senior Officials Committee (TISOC).



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