Caravan group joins the call for action on rest areas

By: Paul Howell


ATA NSW has won the support of the peak caravanning association in its bid to keep rest stops clear for trucks.

 

The New South Wales branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW) has won key allies in its effort to keep caravanners and other holiday makers from using rest stops as camping grounds.

Both the Caravan and Camping Industry Association (CCIA) of NSW and NSW roads minister Duncan Gay have reiterated truck drivers’ need for priority access to the limited spaces, particularly during the holiday season.

CCIA NSW president Theo Whitmont says access to rest stops is an important road safety issue for the transport industry.

"By law, heavy vehicle drivers must take rest breaks at certain times," he says.

"But if the rest area they intended to stop at is filled with caravans and other vehicles, they can’t meet these legal obligations.

"It is vitally important people use roadside rest stops for the purpose they are intended and do not set up a camp or hinder their appropriate use in any way."

Gay says he is pleased to see the two organisations working together on the campaign.

"Truckies don’t have the luxury of being able to pull off a highway and set up camp – highway rest stops are often all they have," he told ATN.

"If caravanners need a break, the rest area is there but when setting up for the night we need caravanners to use caravan parks and let truckies have a rest."

Gay has not responded specifically to the ATA NSW call for signage to go up in popular rest stops before Christmas, but says the Government is looking at upgrading certain rest areas to be "major heavy vehicle rest areas".

"Currently, 101 qualify. Most are under the control of local councils and we will be working with them to increase this number," Gay says.

"I have directed Roads and Maritime Services to look at what else we can do to address this issue and ultimately save lives."

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