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September 2019
     

 


Safety campaign aims to educate caravanners

Research highlights rest area abuse

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A QUARTER of caravan and other RV users have overnighted in truck rest areas, according to new research by the caravanning industry's peak body.

Transport Minister Michael McCormack said the study was part of a new information campaign, funded under the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator's Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.

"The co-exist campaign is a road safety initiative of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia designed to inform and educate campers about interacting with trucks safely while on the road," he explained.

"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."

Mr McCormack said sharing roads and rest facilities by the two major groups was "critical" to keep everyone safe.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz has encouraged all caravanners to visit the Co-exist website before hitting the road.

"Jump online, have a read and pass it on to friends because more informed and responsible drivers will contribute to safer roads and less accidents," he said.

"I urge caravanners 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."

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia's research of 554 caravaners or RV drivers who had used a rest stop in the past 12 months also showed that:

* 60 percent 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.

Chief executive Stuart Lamont said 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," he said.

"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 youre 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."

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator chief executive Sal Petroccitto said the partnership between the Caravan Industry Association of Australia and 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," he said.

"Im pleased that weve been able to work with the caravan industry on ways to reduce risk for holidaymakers and supporting our truckies who keep Australia moving."

To find out more about the Co-Exist campaign head to https://coexist.org.au.

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