New research has revealed that 25% of caravan and recreational vehicle users have previously stayed overnight in truck rest areas … and it is causing major issues.
Hot on the heels of the research results, a new safety campaign has been launched to help truckies and grey nomads co-operate with each other on the open road.
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.
It says that many heavy vehicle drivers, particularly those travelling long distances, are arriving at rest stops only to find Recreational Vehicle (RV) users have taken spaces designated for them, when the leisure travellers could have pre-planned and found a caravan park or one of the many designated areas being provided by councils and towns.
Association 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,” 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.”
Mr Lamont said grey nomads and other RVers should make sure they are aware that truck drivers may need to use the dedicated stops to manage their fatigue hours, so they should plan their stops ahead and not use designated truck parking.
The new campaign also highlights how important it is that truck drivers can manage their fatigue and legal responsibilities.
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz, said informed and responsible drivers would contribute to safer roads and less accidents.
“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,” he said.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia’s surveyed 554 caravanners or RV drivers who had used a rest stop in the past year showed that 60% had used a rest stop more than once; more than 75% made the decision to use a rest stop when their trip was underway; and more than 25% spent more than nine hours at the rest stop.
View the Co-Exist website here.