Trial to explore tracking tech for heavy vehicles

A heavy vehicle on the road.
A heavy vehicle on the road. PHOTO: ST FILE

A trial will be carried out next year to study whether tracking technology should be installed in all heavy vehicles to promote safe driving.

This is one of several recommendations by the Safer Roads Industry Taskforce which the Government is taking up, said Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam at the Singapore Road Safety Council's (SRSC) gala dinner and concert last night.

The task force was set up three years ago to promote safe driving among vocational drivers.

One recommendation is for the Traffic Police and Land Transport Authority (LTA) to have a plan to identify the most relevant and effective technology for road safety.

For instance, there are fleet management systems for route planning and speed tracking.

There are also tachographs, which track and record how fast and how far vehicles travel. The task force has recommended installing tachographs in all heavy vehicles.

"We will embark on a trial in 2017 to study this further," said Mr Shanmugam, though he did not give further details.

The task force includes representatives from government agencies, logistics companies, bus and taxi companies, and unions.

Other recommendations concern training and outreach. The task force has recommended a national structured training programme for vocational drivers who are on the roads for long periods of time. This would include drivers of heavy vehicles such as tipper trucks, who are paid per trip.

In 2013 , when the task force was formed, several tipper truck accidents made headlines, including a crash in Tampines which killed two boys.

The task force also recommended mandatory training courses for vocational drivers with accident records or high demerit points.

The Government will study this idea, said Mr Shanmugam. It will also continue its outreach efforts to vocational drivers and taxi drivers.

A third area of recommendations is in strengthening company systems and processes.

For instance, employers should take greater responsibility to improve road safety.

Companies should also build workplace safety and health capabilities through training courses and sharing best practices.

And as regulator, the LTA should continue emphasising road safety through regular talks with partners and transport service providers.

"Our road safety is a shared responsibility," said Mr Shanmugam.

"Everyone has a role to play. All of us, road users and community stakeholders.

"SRSC will be a key partner playing an important role in promoting this.

"My ministry and the Traffic Police will do our best to support them and work with them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2016, with the headline 'Trial to explore tracking tech for heavy vehicles'. Subscribe