Heavy vehicle route adherence is a major challenge in the Australian transport industry. Transport operators need to look for every opportunity be compliant yet efficient and road managers are concerned with protecting infrastructure. Route adherence needs to be managed in the cabin by drivers using in-vehicle monitoring technology which matches heavy vehicle types against road networks.
With more and more heavy vehicle truck types coming onto the network, the challenge of route adherence will only get more difficult for transport operators. Welcome to the future of heavy vehicle driver route guidance.
For drivers operating heavy vehicles on or under low bridges, and vehicles carrying dangerous goods, the risks are amplified. A truck driver transporting 42 tonnes of hay recently rolled his semi-trailer after taking a dangerous turn under the 4.1 metre Swan Street rail bridge in Richmond, Victoria. Not only did this put the safety of the driver and other road users at risk, the bridge was damaged because it wasn’t designed for heavy goods vehicles. West Melbourne saw a similar incident in May when a truck driver was trapped for an hour and a half after her vehicle slammed into a rail bridge and overturned. The incident also forced the closure of Victoria’s regional public transport operator, delaying customer service for companies relying on the V/Line freight line.
These incidents and statistics are an important reminder of the dangers facing the transport industry, particularly on high risk routes featuring bridges and load restrictions. The Work Health and Safety Act makes it clear that businesses must proactively manage compliance with safety policies. With the ITS World Congress this week and the current VicRoads Innovate Freight Road Trial, intelligent transport systems are playing an increasingly important role in doing just that, and for good reason.
The VicRoads Trial
The two-part trial is pairing VicRoads data with in-vehicle navigation technology to divert heavy vehicles onto routes based on their mass, length, width and height. The system will send in-cabin alerts to drivers as they approach unsuitable roads such as rail crossings or low bridges and redirect them to the safest, most efficient route.
Technology has opened the door to improving safety and productivity across Victoria’s transport industry. With real-time mass and driver behaviour data, everybody in the chain of responsibility is well placed to ensure a vehicle is not overloaded. In addition to ensuring the safety of your drivers, travelling the most efficient routes will improve your business productivity and your bottom line.
“We strongly encourage other jurisdictions to follow VicRoads' leadership role in providing data for in-cabin systems, so that drivers can have access to a guidance system that directs them to approved routes.”
Peter Anderson, CEO, Victorian Transport Association
With the VicRoads Trial underway, now is the time to ensure your fleet is properly equipped to provide safer road travel for heavy vehicle drivers and the community. Although it only applies to Victoria’s road network at the moment, there’s no doubt other states will be looking closely at the impact it has on safety and productivity with a view to setting up similar initiatives.
Heading to the ITS World Congress? Visit us at stand 520 to hear more from our solution specialists on the VicRoads Trial and driver safety and compliance. You can also download our Transport Compliance eBook to learn more.