ARGENTINA IMPROVES SECURITY ON LONG DISTANCE BUSES

Colombiabus newsroom – William Marroquín

THEY SEEK TO COMPLY WITH THE REST OF THE DRIVERS

A series of accidents that occurred in long-distance buses on roads in Argentina, were the trigger to consider several aspects that could be negatively affecting road accidents. One of them had to do with the shifts at the wheel and the rest days of the drivers. This was an issue that was also put on the table by one of the country’s unions, which denounced an alleged overexploitation of drivers, with vehicles that could be being operated without the professionals of the steering wheel resting and recovering.

In Argentina, drivers have a workbook, where an entry time is recorded with which the trip begins, although there are some discrepancies and gaps between what is proposed by the National Commission for Transport Regulation (CNRT) and the Ministry of Labor of the country. The former raises 16 hours of driving for two drivers, while the latter raises 12 hours behind the wheel for two operators. Naturally, the last word and the power to control (or prohibit) is the Ministry, which also indicates that long distance motorists can operate a maximum of 192 hours per month.

Regarding breaks, there are also differences, as the CNRT establishes a minimum of 10 hours after completing the hours behind the wheel, and the Ministry establishes twelve. The workbook has been known since the mid-seventies in Argentina, and it is a book that records the hours worked, breaks, surcharges, among others. Unfortunately, due to its manual nature, this document can be used for alterations, erroneous completion and other practices that can affect both the recognition of drivers’ hours and the control of breaks.

Some units at the end of 2019 began to implement devices that would replace this printed document and in 2020 an articulated work was being developed between the CNRT, the Ministry of Labor and the University of Rosario, which has led to the prototypes and the start of the pilot tests to replace the classic notebook with a digital system, unique for each bus.

The new technology will prevent the adulteration of rest schedules, thus avoiding manipulation in the current paper notebook. It also has the possibility of implementing other functionalities such as fatigue detector, fire control, accelerometer, speedometer, cockpit cameras and panic button, contactless card reader. Likewise, it will allow the application of digital unit maintenance controls: tire and oil pressure, fuel consumption, water temperature, among others.

The trial period with the pilot began on June 1 and will last for 60 days. The companies Águila Dorada, Flechabus, Plusmar, Vía Bariloche and Andesmar will participate in it. In this instance, connectivity will be evaluated by sending five units to different parts of the country. This stage will end according to the progress of data collection, which will then serve as the basis for a second stage of implementation.

The CNRT will be in charge of supervising the data in the new book and the national Ministry of Labor will be in charge of regulating the hours of the operators.

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