Ovens & Murray Advertiser

Call for motorists to use new ‘mega roadside rest areas’

- By EWAN KENNEDY

MOTORISTS, particular­ly those towing caravans, are being urged to be smart about how they share roadside rest stops with trucks this Christmas holiday season.

New statistics released today by Australia’s leading transport and logistics insurer, NTI, show 83 per cent of fatiguerel­ated accidents involving trucks in the lead up to Christmas last year happened between 10pm and 6am despite only one-sixth of the country’s freight being moved during those hours.

NTI’s general manager Janelle Greene said over-crowding at rest areas was a major problem in managing fatigue at this time of year.

“Fatigue-related crashes are twice as likely to be fatal and it is critical everyone has a safe place to ‘stop, revive, survive’,” Ms Greene said.

New ‘mega roadside rest areas’ have started opening alongside highways across the country providing separate areas for cars, caravans and trucks as well as providing toilets and undercover seating areas.

“We have identified 12 mega sites around Australia with some big enough to fit more than 20 semi-trailers and they’re designed so that the truck’s cabin faces away from headlights on the highway so drivers can get some quality sleep.”

Ms Greene said holidaymak­ers and motorists using old-style rest stops could help by parking to one side.

Truck driver Peter Caldow said: “If there is a caravan or cars that aren’t parked in the correct area it makes it a bit harder for us.”

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