Caravanners, motorhomers and all motorists are being urged to stay out of parking spaces designed for heavy vehicle drivers.
The NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command issued the appeal as the holiday period approaches and the roads get busier.
“We encourage all drivers to manage their fatigue when travelling, but also be aware that heavy vehicle drivers have rules relating to taking compulsory rest breaks and they also have authorised routes to adhere to, which restricts them from just driving anywhere to stop for a break,” police said in a Facebook post. “Yes, if you are towing a trailer and you need to rest and revive to survive, absolutely find a lawful, safe and suitable rest area to stop at … it is legal for you to stop and rest in these signposted spaces.”
However, the NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol Command post continued.
“But, if you are just in a car, please don’t take up the large vehicle parking spaces.”
Research conducted in 2019 revealed that 25% of caravan and recreational vehicle users have previously stayed overnight in truck rest areas … and it was causing major issues.
The Caravan Industry Association of Australia surveyed 554 caravanners or RV drivers who had used a rest stop in the past year.
Back then, Association chief executive, Stuart 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 data also showed that 60% of those surveyed had used a rest stop more than once in the previous year; 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.
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