Testing those tired eyes good for road safety

RACQ has welcomed a ground-breaking new anti-fatigue trial in Victoria that would use eye scans to test for tired drivers.

ABC reported VicRoads and Monash University would develop a camera test that scanned the pupils in drivers’ eyes to detect signs of tiredness in the hope this would reduce fatigue-related crashes.

RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said the technology could have major safety benefits.

“This technology helps recognise the early signs of fatigue which often get missed by drivers,” Mr Spalding said.

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“Fatigue is a major cause of serious crashes especially during long distance and highway driving so technology that helps combat injury and death on our roads gets the nod from us,” he said.

If the year-long trial was successful, the technology would reportedly be used by Victorian Police to test for fatigue in erratic drivers, similar to current drug and alcohol roadside screening.

Mr Spalding said in-vehicle technologies were used in the heavy vehicle industry, where fatigue management was a major issue.

“This is a very valuable technology — we’re seeing the technology used in trucks, and it’s also starting to appear in some of the more premium car brands,” he said.

“It’s always good to build in new technologies that can make the road safe, whether that’s about monitoring the driver or assisting the driver to stay in control.

“But it’s also important to recognise we as drivers primarily own the responsibility to make sure we’re in a fit state to drive.”