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Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue - Evidence-Based Policy Making

Burke, M, Williams, J, Fischer, N

Heavy Vehicles

ARSC conference 2015

The presentation introduces a new National Transport Commission project, undertaken in collaboration with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, to develop a national framework to collect and analyse fatigue data by the end of 2016. _x000D_

The presentation highlights historic challenges associated with reforms of the national heavy vehicle fatigue regulations and in particular the need for an improved evidence-base before further amendments of fatigue laws are considered. Agencies today are collecting enforcement and crash investigation data using different processes and formats which limits opportunities to collate and compare meaningful fatigue data. An initial step would be to standardise reporting. From this foundation, a number of improvements can be made e.g. recording in a standardised format when a driver in a fatigue-related crash is accredited in a government scheme that permits more than "standard" hours of work. _x000D_

The NTC has developed a list of priority fatigue issues, as well as data collection and research options. It aims to improve roadside enforcement data collection, improve and standardise crash investigation reporting and crash codes, and to undertake scientific research in partnership with the Alertness CRC. _x000D_

Drawing on fatigue expert advice, Alertness CRC research activities and submissions to the NTC discussion paper, the presentation explains how the framework can measure and improve our understanding of fatigue impairment in:frequency and impact of higher-risk driving schedules; sleep quality and quantity of sleep in rest breaks; impact of night driving; and health and well-being of heavy vehicle drivers. _x000D_

It concludes with an appraisal of some risks and challenges._x000D_