Doz­ing truck­ies get wake-up call

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

❝ I’m very im­pressed with what I’ve seen here to­day. — Michael McCor­mack, trans­port min­is­ter

ONE of Aus­tralia’s largest truck­ing com­pa­nies is rolling out new tech­nol­ogy in a bid to stop driv­ers fall­ing asleep at the wheel.

Toll Group has fit­ted in­fra-red de­vices to more than 1100 trucks in its na­tional fleet to cap­ture the face of driv­ers, so if they shut their eyes or look away from the road, their seat will vi­brate and an alarm will sound.

Driv­ers “ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­port, they see it for what it is about them be­ing safe”, com­pany spokesman Jacques van Niek­erk told re­porters in Mel­bourne, adding that there are plans to roll out the tech­nol­ogy to all trucks.

“We have never had an ac­ci­dent so far where peo­ple have fallen asleep where we have the equip­ment on board,” Mr van Niek­erk said at the un­veil­ing of Toll’s new 24/7 Con­trol Room.

“We get a lot of alerts as we go on; seven alerts in the past week.”

A mes­sage is sent to mon­i­tors in the US be­fore com­ing back to the com­pany’s Tul­la­ma­rine state-ofthe-art nerve cen­tre within two min­utes, he said.

Af­ter a driver is caught, they’ll get a call from the con­trol room and be asked to pull over for a forced 30-minute break.

They’ll have to an­swer ques­tions about how much sleep they’ve had and also other is­sues that may im­pact their abil­ity to drive.

The driver is then mon­i­tored for the re­main­der of their trip. Re­peat alerts mean driv­ers will face tougher ques­tions. In some in­stances a re­place­ment driver will be sent to take over the trip.

“It’s a big push to get it in. It is ab­so­lutely about safety,” Mr van Niek­erk said.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Michael McCor­mack opened the new fa­cil­ity.

“It is an im­por­tant mile­stone, not only for Toll, but for the com­mu­nity and in­dus­try in our quest to im­prove road safety across Aus­tralia,” Mr McCor­mack said, who also helms the fed­eral trans­port port­fo­lio.

“It shows how in­dus­try can har­ness the ben­e­fits of new trans­port tech­nol­ogy, to solve real-life prob­lems, an aim sup­ported by the Lib­eral and Na­tion­als’ Gov­ern­ment.

“I am very im­pressed with what I’ve seen here to­day. It is clear a sig­nif­i­cant amount of ex­per­tise has been in­vested by Toll in this fa­cil­ity to sup­port driv­ers and the com­mu­nity.”


SAFETY FIRST: Toll Group is retrofitting its fleet with the lat­est safety equip­ment.

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