Fatigue-management programs needed
Sep 28, 2005 1:41 PM
Performance-based fatigue management programs, rather than one-size-fits-all regulations alone, could become the way of the future in determining safe and effective truck driver hours, according to Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) Graham Cooper, senior vice-president.
He made the comments last week at the International Conference on Fatigue Management in Transportation Operations in Seattle WA.
The conference comes as Canada prepares to finalize a modernized hours-of-service regime for commercial drivers, and within two weeks of a revised hours-of-service rule being announced by the US Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration (FMCSA).
"Obviously, fatigue management programs as a supplement to prescriptive regulation won't happen overnight," Cooper said. "There is still much research to be done before regulators, elected officials, and the public will accept the notion of alternative approaches to managing transport operator fatigue. But it may well be the way of the future, as the science of sleep and fatigue, technology and training all come together over the next few years to offer a more effective solution to the fatigue question, over and above the regulation of working hours."
CTA has for several years been a member of the steering group for the development of a Canada-US fatigue management program, along with the American Trucking Research Institute, Transport Canada, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, and the governments of Alberta and Quebec, Canada.
This program is now set to enter the final phase of field testing and validation before being rolled out for use in the trucking industry. CTA also co-sponsored a recently completed fatigue management technologies research project in Canada and the US.
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