One of the issues highlighted during the fatigueHack at the Truck Australia 2018 conference was there was much more rest area data needed. Operators and drivers should have access to knowledge about where the rest areas are on our highways and it should be freely accessible.
This week Transport Certification Australia (TCA) has announced it is consolidating heavy vehicle rest area information for navigation devices and services used by heavy vehicle drivers. The TCA’s work will allow technology providers to incorporate heavy vehicle rest area information through in-cab devices and services.
“The consolidation of heavy vehicle rest area information, which incorporates both formal and informal rest area locations, is long overdue,” said Chris Koniditsiotis, TCA CEO. “Despite general rest area information being offered through consumer navigation devices, heavy vehicle drivers face difficulties in finding in-cab devices and services which meet their specific needs.”
Consumer navigation devices are typically orientated towards passenger vehicles and drivers, and do not always distinguish heavy vehicle rest areas from general rest area locations. Truck drivers need information about rest areas (including the size and number of parking bays, the availability of facilities, shade and other details).
Trucks have to rely on the availability of informal rest areas, which are not always recognised, let alone mapped, as rest area locations.
TCA says it has initiated two complementary pieces of work:
To translate rest area location information published by Australia’s road and transport agencies into a form which can be readily used by technology providers (by referencing the data definitions contained in the Telematics Data Dictionary, part of the National Telematics Framework).
Work with Rod Hannifey, Road Transport and Road Safety Advocate, to digitally record the locations of informal rest areas (identified by green reflectors). He is currently in the process of recording the location of informal rest areas.
“I welcome the support for this initiative from TCA, and hope in time it will be one more step to help Australian truckies better manage their fatigue, both for their safety and for their compliance,” said Rod. “My next aim is a National Rest Area Strategy, and this data can only help see that achieved.”
These issues were highlighted during the 2018 fatigueHACK hosted by the ATA in April 2018.
“The ATA is delighted with TCA’s plan to develop this consolidated database, which will enable technology providers to provide consistent and accurate information about the location of truck rest areas and their facilities,” said Geoff Crouch, ATA Chair. “The database will benefit truck drivers both in the short term, through better access to information, and in the long term because it will help underpin new rest area guidelines and mandatory service level standards for the road network. It’s an immediate, solid result from our 2018 fatigueHACK.”
TCA says it will make the national rest area data set available in a standardised, open format. In doing so, TCA will encourage technology providers to offer in-cab navigation devices and services tailored to the needs of heavy vehicle drivers.
TCA will progressively release the provision of consolidated rest area information, and work with stakeholders, including the Telematics Industry Group (TIG), to promote its availability and use.