OTTAWA, Ont. — Driver distraction is not the main cause of collisions, CTA officials recently commented in response to Transport Canada’s paper on the subject.
The Transport Canada discussion paper, titled “Strategies for reducing driver distraction from in-vehicle telematics devices,” suggests tighter regulatory controls for telematic devices in trucks.
But while driver distraction is an important road safety issue, in-vehicle telematic devices are not the main cause of collisions where driver distraction is a factor, point out CTA officials.
“Numerous recent studies – principally from the US – suggest that telematic devices are less of a distraction than such things as drivers looking at outside objects, dealing with children in the back seat and fumbling with car radio tuners. Moreover, the discussion paper is silent on the important role telematics play in making Canada’s roads safer and the economy more efficient,” says CTA CEO David Bradley.
The use of telematics by the trucking industry has changed the way trucks move freight and interact with other motorists, he points out. Telematics have improved safety, reduced energy use and emissions and enhanced productivity through ITS and telematics systems such as vehicle collision warning systems, programs for fuel efficiency, inventory/delivery systems, GPS, mobile computers, cell phone and two way radio technology.
According to Bradley, “The focus on telematics is misplaced. Transport Canada should broaden its focus to determine the most appropriate action to reduce collisions caused by all sources of driver distraction.
The CTA is asking the industry to respond to the Transport Canada discussion document, available at www.tc.gc.ca/roadsafety/tp/tp14133/en/menu.htm in order to provide input to develop potential government intervention including regulatory or non-regulatory initiatives that might require manufacturers to implement a driver-system integration design process or disable access to telecommunication or other telematics devices in moving vehicles.
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