Police respond to claims of truckies being ‘woken up’ for checks

A member of Victoria police has responded to claims that police officers have been waking up sleeping truck drivers to carry out compliance checks.  

During a Technical Q&A at the ATA’s Technology and Maintenance Conference in Melbourne last week, a member of the audience said he has heard anecdotal evidence of truckies being woken up by police in Victoria. 

However Victoria police officer Robert Mitchell said he has never heard of this happening, and it would go against policy. 

“If we’ve got members waking up truck drivers, that’s against our officers’ policy around fatigue management,” he said. 

“That’s different to a driver we pull over who claims ‘Oh I need five minutes to fill out my work diary,’ it doesn’t work like that. 

“If someone is sleeping, they should have recorded a change to rest as prescribed by the regulations.  

“All interactions are captured on body cam footage and vehicle footage. 

“If they are asleep, I’d be very surprised, I’d like to know about it.”  

He said he has never woken a truck driver up for a compliance check.  

“However I’ve dealt with a lot of drivers who are awake and sitting in their truck, and you knock on their window and say ‘What’s going on?’ and they claim ‘I’m resting, you can’t speak to me.’ That’s not right.” 

He added that the police take fatigue management amongst truck drivers seriously.  

“In my view, it’s probably the greatest driver of road trauma and the lowest detected and reported factor.  

“It’s very difficult to investigate and very difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt, and often when we intercept someone they are showing symptoms of fatigue.”  


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