Police urge caravan drivers to be ‘more considerate’ of truckies

NSW Police have urged motorists to be considerate of truck drivers this holiday season, when it comes to occupying large vehicle parking spaces in rest areas. 

With the Christmas break fast approaching, the usual increase in holidaymakers is expected – which means more members of the public sharing the road, often towing caravans.  

In a statement, the police said all drivers are encouraged to manage their fatigue while driving, but also to be aware that heavy vehicle drivers have rules relating to taking compulsory rest breaks. 

“They also have authorised routes to adhere to, which restricts them from just driving anywhere to stop for a break,” they added.  

The police clarified that it is legal for anyone towing a trailer to rest in sign-posted areas, but they asked members of the public to consider other alternatives if possible. 

“Yes, if you are towing a trailer and you need to rest and revive to survive, absolutely find a lawful, safe and suitable rest area to stop at,” they continued.  

“It is legal for you to stop and rest in these sign-posted spaces. We are just asking you to consider other alternatives if fatigue isn’t an immediate issue for you. 

“If you can plan a trip and avoid occupying these large spaces whilst the heavy vehicle drivers are inundated with deliveries this holiday season, then we ask that you consider doing that.

“If you are just in a car, please don’t take up the large vehicle parking spaces.”  

Police shared an image of this parking bay in NSW.

Their comments prompted a big reaction from truckies, many of whom said there should be separate rest areas for caravans. 

Veteran truckie and truck driver advocate Rod Hannifey said it would be great to see more empathy and understanding from those towing caravans.  

He told Big Rigs: “It used to be that it was a seasonal thing – as soon as it turned cold in Melbourne, they all went north and so were all on the road at the one time.  

“Now it is all the time, there are so many caravans on the road.  

“We don’t want to see tired caravanners on the road, but they aren’t going to get a fine if they go and park somewhere else.  

“They can go into town and park in a caravan park or park out on the scrub.”  

He shared an example of a camping area in Pilliga, NSW, where there is a large area for caravans to park.

“Directly opposite that is an informal truck bay with green reflective markers – and there are two vans currently parked there. 

“One is on the dirt, which is fine, but the other caravan is right in the middle of the bitumen so if a truck driver pulls up, they can’t get in there to have a rest.  

“They’ve gone and set the van up in the middle of the bitumen with the awning out and the chairs out the front, bugger anybody else.”  

He added that truckies don’t have access to a lot of truck stops or facilities, and people towing caravans will often park right in the centre of a parking bay.  

“That means we can’t stop there, so we can’t use the facilities,” he continued. 

“They pull up to a heavy vehicle rest area at 5pm and see there’s no one around so take up all the space they want.  

“Then when all the trucks pull up at midnight for their mandatory rest breaks, they’ve got nowhere to park. 

“It just makes it harder than it needs to be. They have more options than we do.  

“I hope everyone has a trucking good Christmas and new year but I hope they also remember that it’s the truckies who deliver all of their presents, their grog and all their food – and a little bit of empathy for us doing that work would go a long way.”  


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