Safety & Compliance

PA Fleet Testing Fatigue Monitors

May 01, 2000

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A Pennsylvania fleet is testing several devices designed to prevent truckers from driving while fatigued.

According to an Associated Press report, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Consortium have equipped 16 rigs at Pitt Ohio Express with five different devices. The study will last a year and a half.
One device uses a special camera to measure a driver's eyelid blinks. Drooping eyelids and slowing blinks will cause a traffic-light device on the dashboard to turn from green to yellow to red.
Another device looks like a wristwatch and measures a driver's wrist movements. Another measures how often the rig weaves out of the traffic lane. The trucks will also be equipped with onboard recorders to determine how many hours and miles the truck has been driven.
Todd Spencer of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. says fatigue monitoring devices don't address the real causes of fatigue, which are unrealistic schedules, imposed by manufacturers and shippers.

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