OTTAWA, Ont. – Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) senior vice president, Graham Cooper, has said performance-based fatigue management programs, rather than one-size-fits-all regulations alone, could become the way of the future in determining safe and effective truck driver hours. Cooper made these comments as a session chair at this week’s International Conference on Fatigue Management in Transportation Operations. The CTA-sponsored conference kicked off on Monday in Seattle, Wash. and continues through Sept. 15. Co-hosted by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and Transport Canada, the conference is attended by about 200 delegates from 13 countries, including some of the world’s foremost experts on fatigue and recovery.
The event comes as Canada prepares to finalize a modernized hours of service regime for commercial drivers, and within two weeks of a revised hours of service rule being announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier safety Administration (FMCSA).
“Obviously, fatigue management programs as a supplement to prescriptive regulation won’t happen overnight. There is still much research to be done before regulators, elected officials and the public will accept the notion of alternative approaches to managing transport operator fatigue,” Cooper said. “But it may well be the way of the future, as the science of sleep and fatigue, technology and training all come together over the next few years to offer a more effective solution to the fatigue question, over and above the regulation of working hours.”
For several years, the CTA has been a member of the steering group for the development of a Canada-U.S. fatigue management program, along with the American Trucking Research Institute, Transport Canada, FMCSA and the governments of Alberta and Quebec. This program is now set to enter the final phase of field-testing and validation before being rolled out for use in the trucking industry. CTA also co-sponsored a recently completed fatigue management technologies research project in Canada and the U.S.
Details on the 2005 International Conference on Fatigue Management in Transportation Operations are available at www.engr.washington.edu/epp/fmto/. For further information on fatigue management in the trucking industry, visit the CTA Web site at www.cantruck.com.
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