Fatigue Test Trial To Keep Drowsy Drivers Off The Road

In an Australian-first trial, the Andrews Labor Government is testing new technology that will detect fatigued drivers.

Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford today announced that trials will get underway at a controlled test facility in Kilsyth.

As part of the trial, drivers will be kept awake for up to 32 hours before conducting a two-hour drive on a controlled track, supervised by a qualified instructor in a dual control vehicle.

Drivers will be tested before and after their drive to measure involuntary movement of their pupils, which is proven to be strongly linked with increasing levels of fatigue.

Current figures show that fatigued drivers are involved in up to 20 per cent of crashes on Victorian roads.

The project is part of an $850,000 investment to see if roadside testing for extreme fatigue can be conducted in a similar way to current roadside alcohol and drug testing.

VicRoads is leading the study and is working closely with Monash University, the Transport Accident Commission, Victoria Police and the Alertness CRC.

The project is funded through the $1.4 billion Towards Zero Action Plan, delivered by VicRoads and funded by the Transport Accident Commission.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford

“Ambitious trials like this one are targeting issues like fatigue which play a big part in lives lost and serious injuries on Victorian roads.”

 “When you consider that fatigue has the same effect on driving ability as alcohol, this trial has the potential to combat one of the biggest killers on our roads.”

“Victoria truly leads the nation in road safety initiatives – and our Towards Zero Road Safety Strategy Plan is key to reducing lives lost and serious injuries on our roads.”