The TWU have questioned the government’s announcement that the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will fund fatigue monitoring technology trials, saying this solution is off the mark and doesn’t address the real cause of fatigue.
The transport minister Michael McCormack has pledged $302,000 towards field trials of SmartCap technology by the Port of Brisbane and the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA), as part of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Around Ports project.
The NHVR pledged a further $250,000 to trial other driver fatigue-monitoring technologies and initiatives, including in-cabin sensors and on-person sensors.
The union says the federal government recognises there is a problem with fatigue but refuses to find a meaningful solution to the problem.They say technology is merely monitoring fatigue and other risks to safety but not addressing the roots of the problem.
The union says financial pressure is the root of the problem, with drivers being forced to skip breaks and drive long hours while fatigued due to tight margins.