Govt to fund fatigue research project

Outcome of the project will better inform future policy, minister says

Govt to fund fatigue research project
Minister Darren Chester says he "cannot, and will not accept, this situation.”


With road safety in mind, the federal government has announced $828, 000 to fund a new Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Research Project to better inform policy makers.

Announcing the news, federal transport minister Darren Chester says the funding will go to better understanding truck driver fatigue and to find solutions to its involvement in heavy vehicle road accidents.

"Driver fatigue is one of the main causes of road accidents involving heavy vehicles, contributing to approximately 22 per cent of all recorded incidents across the country," Chester says.

"I cannot, and will not accept, this situation."

Collaborating with the National Transport Commission, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, universities and industry on the research, Chester says they will gain "a clearer picture of our road safety challenge."

"The Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Research Project will investigate driver alertness, sleep patterns and the safety risks associated with reduced concentration in a bid to better inform future fatigue policy," he says.

"The data collected through this research will be crucial in assessing the effectiveness of our current framework and will help us deliver a more contemporary risk-based approach.

"This collaborative approach is essential in delivering the safest road network possible, with the Cooperative Research Centre for Alertness, Safety and Productivity providing oversight of this project."

Hoping to finalise the research and present it to the transport ministers by2018, the funding will span the next two years.

"I have seen first-hand the impacts of a road crash and I, along with many other Australians, have heard stories from our friends, colleagues and neighbours of a road crash they have experienced," Chester says.

"The annual economic cost of road crashes in Australia is estimated to be around $27 billion, and that doesn't even begin to touch on the grief and pain suffered by families.

"Research such as this will ensure we have the right policy settings in place to minimise the loss of life from road crashes."



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