Leslie Turk

National Geographic Channel in Lafayette this weekend

by Leslie Turk

The National Geographic Channel's interest in fatigue and its effect on drivers' performance is bringing the channel to Lafayette beginning Saturday to study local trucking company Dupre Logistics' program for safely managing fatigue.

Later this year, National Geographic, which will be in town filming through Monday, will air a documentary on the issue of driver fatigue and how it can be monitored and combatted.

Dupre was chosen because it has taken a proactive response to combat driver fatigue, not only adhering to federal standards for its drivers but also focusing on fatigue management to further reduce risk. In 2001, the local company consulted with Circadian Technologies of Stoneham, Mass., to become more educated on fatigue and subsequently implemented a program to better manage its 650 truck drivers. Among other factors, the program focuses on safety, biological clock, better sleep, health and eating. For the past eight years, Dupre's success has been rewarded with multiple state and national safety awards.

"Being able to educate the public on this issue is a great honor," says Tom Voelkel, president of Dupre Logistics. "We take price in assuring motorists, our employees and our customers that our trucks and drivers are some of the safest on the road today."