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Toll to spruik benefits of filming truck drivers

Toll’s NQX division will host webinar to discuss use of in-vehicle cameras.


Toll’s NQX division will next month host a webinar to spruik the benefits of its rollout of in-vehicle cameras to monitor truck drivers.

Toll NQX general manager Greg Smith will host the 30 minute webinar on August 12 to explain Toll’s decision to begin monitoring drivers and how it has improved safety.

The webinar, which runs from 11am to 11:30am, is an initiative of the National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP), which aims to help organisations share ideas and work together on implementing road safety strategies in the workplace.

“After installing in-vehicle camera systems in our linehaul fleet, we gained some valuable insights which have since changed the way we operate our fleet, manage risk and engage with our drivers and contractors,” Smith says.

“As a result of these changes and the implementation of other preventative measures, trucks are involved in fewer incidents. We’re pleased to share our knowledge and do our part to help make Australian roads safer.”

Toll NQX began installing two-way cameras in its trucks in 2011 to record its drivers as well as incidents happening outside the cab.

It says footage recorded has identified risky behaviour from Toll’s drivers or other road users and helped enforce compliance with seatbelt and non-smoking requirements.

“The cameras have revealed a number of small distractions that have the potential to compromise safety, including using mobile phones, inserting CDs or changing radio stations, or reaching for a lunchbox,” Toll NQX line haul manager John King wrote in a paper for the NRSPP.

King says the camera begins recording when it detects G-force events such as harsh braking or cornering, rough road surfaces or swerving.

It records eight seconds of vision and audio from inside the cabin and outside the truck leading up to the event and then four seconds after.

The footage is transmitted to a third party, which analyses it and then informs Toll if further investigation is warranted.

“The camera is constantly filming but unless a G-force event occurs, the camera does not retain the footage. No one is sitting there at the end of the day viewing each driver’s every moment,” King says.

Truck drivers can also manually record an event happening outside the truck.

“Heavy vehicle drivers often witness unsafe behaviour by other road users and can manually hit a button that records the incident. The footage can play a useful role in incident investigation,” King says.

He says footage has previously been handed to police in Queensland to aid an investigation into a fatal accident.

Drivers initially raised privacy concerns about the cameras, but Toll NQX says it addressed these by explaining the devices would be used to teach, manage and develop drivers.

“Toll NQX developed a simple code of conduct to explain how it would use camera footage. It has also found that drivers’ privacy concerns generally dissipate once the cameras are operating and their fears are not realised,” King says.

He says each unit costs $1,000 to install and $90 a month to monitor.

“Toll NQX is confident its investment will pay off over time in terms of reducing heavy vehicle incidents, which can be costly physically and financially,” King says.

The webinar will also touch on Toll NQX’s use of telematics, which were introduced into the company’s fleet in 2001.

The devices track vehicle speed and alert Toll NQX if a driver exceeds 103km/h. The company has also gradually reduced speed limits for drivers from 100km/h to 95km/h.


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