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Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
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zonk Offline

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Post: #1
Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
Simon Lauder reported this story on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Could Australian motorists one day face RTTs - Random Tiredness Tests? It's one idea floated today by the lead researcher of the new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Alertness, Safety and Productivity.

The Federal Government is putting millions of dollars into the centre which will focus on something most of us do every night: sleep. It aims to save the health system billions by significantly reducing the number of fatigue-related injuries.

Read more http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2013/s3934275.htm
05-25-2014 10:54 PM
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PsychoMike Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
Only issues I can see are 1) probable cause and 2) what they intend to do about it.

Shy of weaving in and out of traffic, how might they decide you are fatigued enough to administer the RTT? If it is truly random, they will likely face the same sorts of legal battles we're facing here in Canada over random drug testing at the oilsands operations.

If they find you fatigued, I wonder what they would do about it? Are they going to make you sleep in your car for a hour and sit there to make sure you do? I dunno...sounds like a nightmare waiting to be implemented to me Wink
05-27-2014 04:22 PM
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BreathlessTom Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
I wonder how many government employes they are going to hire to staff a 'sleep' center?Too-funny
05-27-2014 07:52 PM
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retired_guy Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
Just doesn't sound like a workable idea to me. Maybe if they required a "sleep test" before issuing a drivers license they could find people that didn't know they had a problem. But I'm not thinking that is going to happen anytime soon.

I could see legislation that provided penalties to people responsible for an accident because of falling asleep behind the wheel if they had previous knowledge of the apnea condition and refused to do anything about it. Actually I imagine our civil suit system would already be way into that. But actual criminal charges are probably not too likely to happen either. There would be a massive shout out demanding that our constitutional rights to fall asleep behind the wheel of a car be preserved.
05-27-2014 08:03 PM
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stephen N Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
I am / was? a Western Australian Truckie, and can see roadside tests happening pretty easily.

Upon entry to mine sites and many major industrial or construction sites we are already required to take an alcohol test, fill out a medical and fatigue related questionnaire, and submit to "random" drug tests which are not that random. [which is fine by me!]
On many mine sites there is also an alcohol test as you leave.

These results are compiled by the site OH&S staff, and if any red flags show - they head for our company office to cross reference driver logbooks and medical records.
Our trucks are all tracked on GPS, and location, speed, stops, engine shutdown and run-time are all on computer.

While on the road, there is booze busses and every police car has breathalyser equipment [and I am pretty sure drug testing kits] on board - and refusal to take the tests will get you in big strife.

I had no idea that I had sleep apnoea - being tired was the norm for me as I have worked dodgy shifts and long hours for practically all my working life.
It was only an "off the cuff" remark from my G.P. during my commercial drivers medical that rang alarm bells
[any problem with snoring? / no problem at all Doc, missus jabs me in the ribs and I stop]Huhsign
.........and off for a sleep study test I went......and everything fell in a heap Huh

Our transport fatigue regulations state no more than 5 hours at a time, no more than 17 hours within a 24 hour period, and 57 hours in the truck before the mandatory 10 hours in a motel.

I can get from Perth to Emerald [QLD] or the Innamincka area, or well into the Tanami Desert via Adelaide inside the hours limit.
However - driving "two-up" is very hard - although legal - as you need to be able to trust your co-driver,[I don't] while sleeping for short stretches.
Many two-up drivers have developed the habit of driving 3 hours on / 3 hours off.
I found this pretty hard as you never get a TRUE sleep.

I am by no means overweight - but seeing the state of many truckies out there, I welcome the day that fatigue testing arrives.

Too many of us are dying from fatigue related accidents, and our long term health is being sacrificed to keep the wheels turning.

As a bare minimum, I would like to see a mandatory annual sleep study before licenses are renewed, instead of the current "tick-a-box" questionnaire on a form that gets signed off by a G.P.

Too many bleary eyes with droopy eyelids are out there behind the wheel.

stephen
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2014 06:05 AM by stephen N.)
05-28-2014 06:00 AM
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retired_guy Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
(05-28-2014 06:00 AM)stephen N Wrote:  Too many of us are dying from fatigue related accidents, and our long term health is being sacrificed to keep the wheels turning.

As a bare minimum, I would like to see a mandatory annual sleep study before licenses are renewed, instead of the current "tick-a-box" questionnaire on a form that gets signed off by a G.P.

Too many bleary eyes with droopy eyelids are out there behind the wheel.

stephen

Good post Stephen, thanks.

I agree with you about the idea of a sleep test. ...and for specific occupational situations, such as you describe, I think that could happen. That would be a good thing.

But for every poor trucker out there trying to stay alert there are probably a dozen regular motorists who have no idea what a danger to themselves or others they might be. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll see anything much occurring that would help with these people. I know as often as I would doze off, were I to have every been stopped by the police and asked if I was ok, I simply would have have responded "I'm fine! I don't do drugs!" Whereupon he would simply apologize for his misinterpretation of my driving in the middle of a cow pasture, and send me on my way.
05-28-2014 10:57 AM
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jaycee Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
The problem with a "roadside test" is that it likely wouldn't work (even if you are very short of sleep and very tired). The fact that you are getting pulled over will likely result in an adrenalin boost (which would temporarily counteract the lack of sleep).

A few miles down the road, the adrenalin wears off, weariness really sets in and you crash Sad
05-28-2014 12:34 PM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
I want to see a roadside stupidity test.

Or a stupidity ignition interlock.

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05-28-2014 03:24 PM
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zonk Offline

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Post: #9
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
(05-28-2014 03:24 PM)archangle Wrote:  I want to see a roadside stupidity test.

Or a stupidity ignition interlock.
Interlock devices to become mandatory for Victorian motorists convicted of drink-driving
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-27/in...ection=vic
05-28-2014 03:51 PM
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PollCat Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Roadside drowsiness test could be around the corner
(05-28-2014 03:24 PM)archangle Wrote:  I want to see a roadside stupidity test.
I had similar thoughts today.

On my way to lunch, I witnessed five drivers run stop signs or red stop-lights. Four were talking on cell-phones and the fifth was following a semi too closely to see that the light had changed. On my way home, I had another cell-phone user cut me off by turning left out of the right-hand lane in a traffic-circle; the lane was clearly marked for going straight. Oh-jeez

So, if the government is going to test for drowsiness, they should also test for inattentiveness and/or stupidity. oldman
(This post was last modified: 05-29-2014 12:06 AM by PollCat.)
05-29-2014 12:06 AM
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