Report underlines urgent need for more rest areas

rest areas

The National Road Transport Association is taking heart from the final report of a key Federal Parliamentary road safety committee that was released last Friday.

NatRoad says the Joint Select Committee on Road Safety has served up a smorgasbord of mostly digestible recommendations to make life safer for heavy vehicle drivers.

“Industry must stay on the case, however, because the looming election means many of the recommendations are in danger of being ‘filed and forgotten’,” said NatRoad CEO Warren Clark.

“We are pleased that the committee has adopted our call to build more rest areas by making federal infrastructure funding conditional on their construction.

“We are also right behind the recommendation for a national audit of existing rest areas in partnership with industry to guide future investment, which is a process that New South Wales has started.”

NatRoad policy is for rest areas to be graded in accordance with the 2019 Austroads’ Guidelines for the Provision of Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas Facilities, and a plan to be put in place for upgrades.

“There needs to be a process of auditing against future planning proposals and the projected increase in freight task along a route,” Clark said.

“Rest areas help in managing fatigue and thereby reducing heavy vehicle road incidents.”

Clark said many of the report’s 61 recommendations are directly relevant to the heavy vehicle sector.

“We will keep putting the case for things like improving training for learner and provisional drivers to be truck aware,” he said.

“We also echo the call for better data collection in relation to heavy vehicle accidents because you can’t fix what you don’t know.”

The full report can be found here.

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