The United States Truck Regulator (The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – FMCSA) has begun work on a fatigue management study in an attempt to discover if fatigue management provisions are effective.
The study is aimed at improving heavy vehicle safety and fatigue management measures in the country, the findings may also be relevant to the road freight industry in Oz.
The US regulator plans on working with truck drivers to find out if recently suspended fatigue management provisions are working.
The FMCSA has begun the planning stages of an investigation into whether recently suspended fatigue management provisions for truck drivers are effective.
The FMCSA is also requesting operators and drivers take part in a study that will compare recently suspended rest provisions with those it replaced in 2013 to determine whether the changes were a good move or not. The amendments were supported by the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
In an article on Fullyloaded.com.au, the changes to US fatigue management laws were discussed. Late last year the American congress passed amendments to fatigue management laws which resulted in 2 rest and restart limitations on drivers being removed. The changes took effect on December 16 to reinstate the pre-2013 rules.
When the amendments were introduced, legislators included an amendment requiring the FMCSA to research if the provisions were necessary. The provisions prevent drivers from working between 1am and 5am. It also limited them to taking one 34 hour restart break a week. The amendments restored the rest requirements that were in place from 2003 to June 2013.
The US truck regulator said the study will analyse fatigue and safety performance levels of drivers operating under the pre-2013 rules as well as the rules that were recently removed. The regulator will also measure the levels of improvement, taking the experiences of drivers into consideration and paying them for taking part in the survey.
The FMCSA said in a statement:
“Drivers will be paid for their participation and carriers may be compensated for lost revenue due to the study and for the cost of installing data collection equipment on their trucks,” the FMCSA says.
participants will be monitored over five months, with the FMCSA focusing on safety critical events, driver fatigue and alertness levels and driver health.
“The findings will be used to further improve our knowledge of driver fatigue and alertness management,” the FMCSA says.
Read more at: http://www.fullyloaded.com.au
The regulator will monitor driver compliance on a daily basis. The participating truckies will be required to complete alertness tests each day.
In the article on Fullyloaded.com.au, the ATA was quoted as saying they plan on pushing for the rules to stay in place for a longer time after September 30th, when they are due to expire.
Although the current administration say the changes will be bad for road safety, the ATA has been lobbying for the removal of the rest and restart provisions. There are fears however that the changes will cause truck drivers to simply work longer hours each week which could prove dangerous to road safety. Senator Susan Collins and the association are backing the removal of the provisions.