TTA report reinforces state government rest areas plan


Heavy vehicle fatigue options seen as crucial for a safer industry

TTA report reinforces state government rest areas plan
John de Bruyn

 

Tasmanian transport operators welcome the state government’s plan to increase and upgrade rest areas for heavy vehicles.

The Tasmanian Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Areas Project Report was completed by the Tasmanian Transport Association (TTA), using state government funding provided in October 2018.

It was released at the TTA ’s transport forum in Launceston and coincides with National Road Safety Week.

A key recommendation from the report was the development of a Tasmanian Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Area Strategy to provide for suitable roadside amenities.


Read about TTA concerns over truck-driver recruitment, here


The strategy was launched at the forum by infrastructure and transport minister Michael Ferguson.

The Tasmanian and federal governments have committed a total of $5 million to implement the strategy, with the first five rest areas already in the design stage and construction on the first expected to start in the first half of 2021.

These include:

  • Bass Highway, Howth
  • Bass Highway, Forest Farm weighbridge (north of Elizabeth Town)
  • Glenstone Road, Brighton
  • Midland Highway, Pontville
  • Southern Outlet, near Kings Meadow.s

"Concept designs for a further 14 sites are expected to be completed by mid-next year with another 18 sites identified for inclusion in future road infrastructure projects," Ferguson says.

TTA chairman John de Bruyn says the industry had been lobbying for at least 20 years for better facilities for drivers.

"As an island state, efficient and safe road freight is a key enabler of the Tasmanian economy, business and way of life," de Bruyn adds.

"Providing rest area facilities is critical to support the safe operation of heavy vehicles, to meet strict fatigue regulations and keep drivers alive."

Currently Tasmania does not meet nationally agreed guidelines for the provision of rest facilities.

De Bruyn points out that the bypassing of towns where drivers could previously stop safely for a rest and to use facilities, and upgrades to major highways with median and roadside barriers, have contributed to reduced safe pullover opportunities for heavy vehicles.

The TTA believes the provision of appropriate rest areas on key Tasmanian freight routes will not only improve the health, wellbeing and fatigue management of drivers and road user safety, but in the long term will support industry recruitment and driver retention by ensuring a safe working environment.

The Tasmanian Heavy Vehicle Driver Rest Areas Project Report can be found here.

 

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