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NZ Police and Accident Compensation Corporation – Commercial Driver Fatigue Campaign

31 October 2008

In 2006, the New Zealand Police presented to the Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, a localised campaign operating within the Central Police District directed at the fatigued commercial driver. The presentation discussed the under reporting of the fatigue risk and validated an alternative approach by using both Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) and Privacy Act legislation to change driver behaviour through pressure on the employer as opposed to the singular effect of an infringement notice. The campaign principle is based on the denunciation theory within the deterrent framework, in that enforcement coupled with the stigma of notification to the employer will have a persuasive effect and change driver behaviour and extend the ‘halo effect’.

The presentation was awarded the “Practitioners Award for the “ paper that best reflects a completed road safety program or campaign which tackles a road safety are of significant importance, shows originality in development and delivery, and demonstrates links between identified need for the program development and evaluation of the program".

The campaign has now received national support from both ACC and NZ Police to extend the model to include all on road health and safety issues

Over the last two years, ACC has funded the project implementation into four Police Districts. A large contribution to the continued success of the project has been the creation of an ACC/NZ Police data base which enables the identification of employers, driver, vehicle, location, and the actual offence.

Previously employers were not necessarily aware of infringements against their employees. Through the infringement process, drivers, their employers / principals and contractors are now fairly informed about road safety risk being imposed on other road users by employees and emphasises to employers that their health and safety responsibilities extend to commercial vehicles as they are considered ‘places of work’ under the OSH legislation. The database allows ACC to track organisations and monitor their health and safety performance via claims data , infringement data and the effectiveness of Police intervention at the road side is increased. The programme allows Police to deploy limited resource to effectively target those organisations who continue to receive infringement notices.

The campaign models a collaborative approach to addressing a road safety risk.

More information can be found by visiting the Accident Compensation (ACC) website: www.acc.co.nz