Rest area tech aims to help truckies plan fatigue breaks

fatigue breaks

To assist heavy vehicle drivers manage fatigue, Transport and Main Roads (TMR) is conducting a rest area management pilot project at six sites in Queensland.

The Bruce Highway rest areas will have LED notification signs located on the roadside about 10km on approach.

The TMR says these signs will provide real-time parking availability to truckies.

There will also be automatic number plate recognition cameras to detect vehicle type usage and length of stay, renewable energy sourced lighting and power, and closed circuit TV designed to increase safety and security.

By installing this new technology at the Bruce Highway rest areas, the TMR is hoping to better help truckies meet their fatigue management requirements and reduce fatigue-related crashes.

The technology has been up and running at the Ogmore rest area on the Bruce Highway since November 2020. The remaining proposed sites – Christmas Creek and Helen’s Hill (North Queensland), Miriam Vale and Waverley Creek (Central Queensland), and Gin Gin (Sunshine Coast) – are scheduled to be operational by June 30.

The TMR is encouraged by the difference the tech is making at the Ogmore site.

A TMR spokesperson, however, tells us that installation of the technology at four of the trial sites is still conditional on funding from the second tranche of the Australian Government Road Safety Package.

Meanwhile, the TMR says early indications are that the real-time technology is being used by heavy vehicle drivers, with an increasing number pulling in to take a fatigue break at Ogmore.

“The technology we’re trialling will provide heavy vehicle drivers with advanced information in real time about the availability of rest areas, allowing them to better plan their stops and take a break,” said Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey.

Bailey said fatigue is one of the biggest killers on the state’s roads. On average, 31 lives are lost, and 462 people are seriously injured each year in fatigue related crashes.

“Managing fatigue is one of the freight industry’s most critical safety issues too, and long haul drivers rely on rest stops for breaks along our major highways.

“We’re looking forward to hearing from industry about the trial as it progresses.”

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