CAA calls for more rest areas (October 30, 2001)

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TORONTO, Ont. — The Canadian Automobile Association is calling on Ontario Transport Minister, Brad Clark, to address the issue of driver fatigue, both among motorists and among commercial drivers.

“Fatigue impairs drivers by slowing their reactions to events and by hampering their judgement,” writes CAA director David Leonhardt in a letter to the minister. “Unlike the breathalyzer to detect alcohol, there is no fatigualizer to detect fatigue. Unlike seat belts to keep occupants in their seats, there are no eyelid belts to keep drivers alert.”

He insists the province can battle fatigue by ensuring there are sufficient rest stops along 400-series and other busy highways.

CAA wants the government to review the province’s current and future needs, and in particular consider the following: truck drivers need more space to park their trucks; motorists need more restful rest stops not existing service centres; motorists are unaware of current rest or picnic areas; and motorists forget they need rest.

“Fatigue is the last thing on a traveler’s mind,” the letter reads. “Fatigued driving is a sign that public education is needed where the drivers can take action — on the highway.”

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