New rules ban overnight stays and
areas are not a source
of accommodation, says Minister
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TOUGH new laws aimed at stopping travellers
using dedicated heavy vehicle rest areas in Queensland
came into force
The changes follow continuing complaints from truckies about being
squeezed out of some rest areas by inconsiderate caravanners
and other RVers using them as
a cheap way to travel. Offenders could be slapped with
$266 on-the-spot fines.
Queensland Transport Minister Mark Bailey explained that the roadside
facilities were not a source of accommodation, with long-term camping
prohibited on the state-controlled road network.
"Changes to rest area and illegal camping laws will help solve the
problem," he said.
Mr Bailey believed the new rules on rest area
use and illegal camping would give better access to truck drivers across
the Sunshine State.
"The road is the heavy vehicle driver's workplace – they get vital freight
to our supermarket shelves and homes – and driver fatigue is a critical
"We need to ensure rest areas are used for fatigue management, providing a
place for heavy vehicles to stop and rest safely.
"This issue has consistently been raised with me by locals, including at
Community Cabinet events.
'Amendments clarify the rules for rest area use'
"The amendments clarify the rules for rest
area use and camping. They provide a stronger, simpler enforcement
mechanisms for the Department of Transport and Main Roads."
The changes will come into effect on September 18.
Mr Bailey said an efficient and safe freight industry was a crucial
element to Queensland's COVID-19 recovery.
His department would launch a campaign to ensure awareness of the amended
rules governing the use of rest areas and camping .
"Our approach to enforcement will involve education, awareness and formal
warnings, with fines as a last resort," he said.
"Rest areas are provided for the convenience of all motorists to manage
driver fatigue and they need to be used fairly for all road users' safety
Mr Bailey explained that commercial trucks, fatigue-regulated heavy
vehicles under the Heavy Vehicle National Law, and accompanying pilot and
escort vehicles were the only vehicles that could use heavy vehicle rest
"Caravans and motorhomes are not classed as heavy vehicles," he added.
Queensland Trucking Association chief executive Gary Mahon has welcomed
the new rules.
"We are pleased to see these new laws come into effect as truck drivers
will have greater confidence that scheduled rest breaks can be taken in
these dedicated rest area locations," he said.
Click here to see the rest area legislation.
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