MOUNT Noorat Freighters has been ordered to pay $3000 to the court fund as part of a bond after one of its driver fell asleep and ran off the Calder Freeway.
The company pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court to failing to take all reasonable steps to manage a driver's fatigue.
The driver fell asleep for at least four seconds while heading north on the Calder Freeway at Malmsbury, just north of Kyneton.
The prime mover and trailer crossed a bridge, and the two south bound lanes, at 1.44am on March 5 last year before jack-knifing and coming to a stop after about 100 metres.
The driver was transported to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
The truck was believed to have run off the road due to the driver being fatigued even though he was fatigue accredited driver.
His regular start time was 7am or 8am and he was usually asleep at the time of the accident.
The driver had little memory of the incident, only recalling being asked if he was all right after the crash.
Th truck was a write-off.
At the time of the accident the driver had been awake for about 18 hours and only had a 30-minute nap.
Defence counsel Helen Shalders said at the time of the accent there was no capability in the company's in-truck system for real time alerts but that system had now been upgraded.
She said the driver had been expected to rest before he continued on his trip by that did not happen and he had not been instructed to do so.
The driver also had the previous day off.
Magistrate Peter Mellas said it was only more recently that fatigue had became a more recognised danger for car drivers.
He said there was now a range of measures which could be taken by trucking companies to have real time monitoring - which Mount Noorat Freighters had now installed.
The magistrate said the truck left the road due to the driver's fatigue, the driver was operating outside his usual hours of work and it was a matter of luck that someone had not been killed.
In imposing a conviction and 12-month good behaviour bond with the condition $3000 was paid to the court fund, the magistrate noted the company's previous blemish-free record.