Big mistakes caravaners make putting your safety at risk
A QUARTER of caravan and recreational vehicle users have stayed overnight in truck rest areas according to research released by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia today.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the research was part of a new information campaign, funded under the NHVR's Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government.
"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," Mr McCormack said.
"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.
"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 Transport Scott Buchholz said he would encourage all caravaners to visit the co-exist website before they start their trip.
"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," Mr Buchholz said.
"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."
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 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.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia chief executive officer 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," Mr Lamont 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 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 chief executive officer 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," Mr Petroccitto said.
"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."
The Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative funding support implementable, value-for-money projects that will deliver significant heavy vehicle safety benefits.