Gadkari seeks policy for sleep detection sensors on commercial vehicles
Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday directed officials to work on a policy for having sleep detection sensors on commercial vehicles at par with the European standards.
Speaking at a National Road Safety Council (NRSC) meeting, Gadkari underlined the need for fixed driving hours for truck drivers similar to pilots to reduce fatigue-induced road accidents. He asked the NRSC members to work in diversified areas of road safety so that more lives can be saved.
As of 2020, there were nine million truckers and transporters involved in carrying freight across India. About a quarter of the truck drivers, who participated in a 2018 study conducted by automotive lubricant maker Castrol, complained of sleep deprivation. Up to 53% reported fatigue, insomnia, obesity, backache, joint and neck pain, poor vision, breathlessness, stress, and loneliness.
The European Union’s System for Effective Assessment of Driver Vigilance and Warning According to Traffic Risk Estimation (AWAKE) project has developed guidelines for fatigue warning systems. AWAKE employs both driver state measures and traffic risk measures to conclude the need for warning drivers and the type of warning called for. The driver state measures include eyelid movement, changes in steering grip and driver behaviour (including lane tracking), use of accelerator and brake, and steering position. The system determines if and what information or warning messages need to be communicated to drivers.