The House of Representatives Communications, Transport and Arts committee report released a report yesterday stating that the country forks over $3 billion a year for driver fatigue, while the trucking industry spends $300 million annually.
According to published reports, the report also calls for drivers and companies to be held responsible if a driver is found to be at the wheel while fatigued.
"Fatigue in transport is a problem that must be addressed by governments, by transport companies and by workers in the transport industry," Committee chairman Paul Neville said in a statement.
The committee said transport operators have until the middle of 2002 to make significant improvements in the way fatigue is addressed, or a formal accreditation system could be introduced, covering drivers, fleet operators, agents and brokers, while setting up formal training and business management program.
The committee’s report suggested that states and territories develop laws that make it an offense to drive while fatigued. An industry-wide mandatory drug policy was also recommended.