TELEMATIC DEVICES: Major companies are pushing for mandatory installation of telematic devices.
TELEMATIC DEVICES: Major companies are pushing for mandatory installation of telematic devices. Kirstin Payne

Push for telematic tech

MAJOR logistics companies Linfox, Toll and peak body the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) have pushed the mandatory installation of telematic devices in heavy vehicles.

The recommendations in support of the ALC's mandatory telematics blueprint come as part of the NSW Government's inquiry into heavy vehicle safety, and the use of technology to improve road safety.

In their submissions, Toll, Linfox and the Australian Logistics Council recommend the review of the laws, outlining the mandatory installation of the data and, reads the Toll submission - "consider how this could be rolled out to all Australian trucks”. .

In addition to the review, Toll also recommended the collected data be used by the NSW Government to further safety measures.

"Toll recommends that the NSW Government consider how it can use its expertise and position to highlight the benefits that can be obtained by all transport companies, small and large, from the use of telematics devices, both in safety and efficiency,” the submission read.

"The NSW Government should consider the mandatory use of telematics for safety purposes in vehicles owned by the state or undertaking work for the state.”

Linfox also emphasised its support of the use of in-cab telematics and black-box technology to improve heavy vehicle road safety, in support of the ALC's blueprint.

Arguing in the scheme's favour, ALC highlighted a recent survey conducted by Teletrac Navman which found that companies who have implemented, or are planning to implement, telematics technology, saw speed prevention (58%) and monitoring hours to prevent driver fatigue/exhaustion (39%) as the top two safety benefits realised by using telematics.

"ALC believes a move to mandatory telematics will not place an unduly onerous requirement on the heavy vehicle industry,” the submission read.

"Indeed, today a smartphone already has the capability to act as a basic telematics device, and the capacities of such technology will only improve in the years to come.”

Alternatively submissions made to the committee by road safety advocate Rod Haniffey pursued a more low-tech approach.

"The management of heavy vehicle driver fatigue requires more than just technology,” Mr Haniffey's submission read.

"Drivers require suitable and sufficient rest areas that will allow a driver the opportunity to get good quality sleep.

"Without this, any technology telling a driver he is tired or must take a break will be useless if there is nowhere for him to do so.

"Similarly, there needs to be enough flexibility for a driver to manage his or her fatigue, because simply being told by a logbook or EWD that they must stop, is not always the safest way to manage fatigue,” he said.

The Livestock Bulk Rural Carriers Association, which was in favour of some adoption of technology, made a similar point.

"Improving safety, simply cannot be 'fixed' through greater adoption of technology alone,” the submission read.

"We cannot be complacent and rely solely on technology to achieve enhanced safety outcomes.”

Hearings into the matter are expected to take place in early April.

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