The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has welcomed a new federal government funded study into truck driver fatigue.
The research will look into the effects of the truck driver fatigue rules and will monitor a sample of drivers during their real-life work shifts, as well as simulated shifts performed in a laboratory.
Chair of the ATA, Noelene Watson, said the research should give a clear picture of whether fatigue rules in the Heavy Vehicle National Law should be changed.
“Currently the rules around fatigue are complex, with detailed provisions about how to count work and rest time and overlapping 24 hour counting periods.
“Complying with the rules is stressful for drivers and operators, because of the risk of making a mistake,”
“And despite the complexity of the rules, there is only limited evidence available about their impact on driver fatigue and safety.
“The ATA also considers that the research needs to cover the quantity and quality of sleep that drivers get during major rest breaks, including the benefits of allowing split rest so drivers can move their trucks to a quieter spot after buying food or having a shower.
“In addition, there needs to be more research into short rest breaks and electronic work diary tolerances, as well as fatigue issues relating to regional and remote operation.”