Seat vi­brates to re­mind sleepy driv­ers to drive safely

The New Paper - - NEWS - DAVID SUN

Firms us­ing tech­nol­ogy to im­prove ve­hi­cle safety

Ev­ery day, two work­ers are hurt in ve­hi­cle-re­lated in­ci­dents at work­places.

While the seven fa­tal­i­ties and 379 in­juries in the first half of this year are lower than the 22 deaths and 785 in­juries for the whole of last year, the au­thor­i­ties are still con­cerned.

Hence trans­port and lo­gis­tic com­pa­nies are in­vest­ing heav­ily in tech­nol­ogy to im­prove the safety of their ve­hi­cles.

Sin­ga­pore Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Dave Ng, 42, be­lieves that the use of tech­nol­ogy will save lives.

Af­ter the launch of the Drive Safe, Work Safe cam­paign at NatS­teel’s premises in Jurong West yes­ter­day, the group chief ex­ec­u­tive of Bok Seng Lo­gis­tics said his com­pany has spent more than $200,000 this year on safety gad­gets for about 30 ve­hi­cles, com­pris­ing half its fleet.

This in­cludes a fa­tigue man­age­ment sys­tem that tracks the driver’s face via a dash­board cam­era. If his eyes close for more than five sec­onds or de­vi­ate from the road, the driver’s seat will vi­brate to alert him, Mr Ng said.

A sig­nal is also sent to the com­pany’s con­trol room so the man­ager can ask the driver if he needs to rest.

Mr Ng said: “More than 90 per cent of the in­dus­try has in­vested in safety tech­nol­ogy. We would rather spend money on gad­gets for safety than spend more when ac­ci­dents hap­pen.”

He added that the de­vice can also track whether the driver uses his mo­bile phone on the move, as well as the speed, brak­ing and sig­nalling of the ve­hi­cles. The in­for­ma­tion al­lows the com­pany to ed­u­cate its driv­ers on safer driv­ing prac­tices.

Min­is­ter of State for Man­power Sam Tan said in his speech that more than 300 en­force­ment ac­tions had been taken against em­ploy­ers for ve­hic­u­lar safety in­fringe­ments since June.

One com­pany was fined $130,000 and an­other $80,000 for in­ad­e­quate safety mea­sures that led to the deaths of their prime-mover driv­ers.

Urg­ing com­pa­nies to adopt tech­nol­ogy to pre­vent ac­ci­dents, Mr Tan said: “To­gether, we can en­sure that ev­ery worker goes back home safe and healthy.”

david­sun@sph.com.sg

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