New safety campaign targets truck and caravan co-existence

Safety campaign follows research into caravanner behaviour around truck rest stops

New safety campaign targets truck and caravan co-existence
The campaign hopes to improve relations on - and off - the road


Steps are being taken to address the uneasy relationship between trucking and caravanning with the announcement of the Co-exist campaign in a partnership between the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA).

Research released by the CIAA, part of a new information campaign funded under the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), found a quarter of caravan and recreational vehicle users have stayed overnight in truck rest areas.  

The analysis of 554 caravaners or recreational vehicle (RV) drivers who had used a rest stop in the past 12 months showed:

  • 60 per cent had used a rest stop more than once
  • more than three-quarters made the decision to use a rest stop when their trip was underway
  • more than a quarter spent more than nine hours at the rest stop.

From this information, the Co-exist campaign – a road safety initiative backed by the federal government – is designed to inform and educate campers about interacting with trucks safely while on the road.

A truck crash involving a caravan reinforced the shared responsibility message

 "It highlights the importance of ensuring our truck drivers can manage their fatigue and legal responsibilities, with a particular focus on truck rest stops and improved communication," federal transport minister Michael McCormack says.

"These are two major groups that use Australian highways so information about sharing roads and rest facilities respectfully is critical to keeping everyone safe."

Assistant minister for road safety and freight Scott Buchholz says informed and responsible drivers will contribute to safer roads and fewer accidents.

"I urge caravaners to take advantage of the great facilities at camping grounds and caravan parks and give truck drivers the space to stop at roadside rest areas to ensure they have their proper break," Buchholz says.

CIAA CEO Stuart Lamont says all road users had equal responsibility for road safety.

"Caravan and RV users value safety so this information will help them to understand how to share the road with heavy vehicles, particularly in understanding how such a large vehicle behaves," Lamont adds.

"Our campaign promotes simple information that can reduce frustration, such as the use of UHFs for improved communication between drivers, maintaining speed and road position when being overtaken.

"When stopping for the night make sure you’re aware that truck drivers may need to use the dedicated stops to manage their fatigue hours, so plan your stops and use the appropriate areas to park and not use designated truck parking."

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto thanks CIAA for the cooperation and says the partnership with the heavy vehicle industry would save lives.

"Long haul heavy vehicle drivers are often managing fatigue and getting good quality rest is critical to keeping all road users safe," Petroccitto says.

"I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work with the caravan industry on ways to reduce risk for holiday makers and supporting our truckies who keep Australia moving."

More information on the Co-exist campaign is available here


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