NatRoad welcomes the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, the Hon. Michael McCormack MP, that $7.3 million in grant funding is now available under Round 2 of the Driver Reviver Upgrade Program. The funding will allow existing Driver Reviver locations nationwide to upgrade amenities and install new equipment.
The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) CEO Warren Clark said: “This is a welcome investment in rest stops across the country. In one of our latest submissions to the review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law, we emphasised that the basic issue of the provision of proper rest areas had been given insufficient priority as a vital component of fatigue management. This financial commitment to upgrading current Driver Reviver rest stops is a step in the right direction. NatRoad will continue to advocate for the provision of additional facilities, and the upgrade of current amenities, as well as for a national plan to embed rest area construction in new road projects.”
“NatRoad has, in particular, welcomed the availability of these grants to establish new sites. A US study showing that fatigue related crashes dramatically increase when rest stops are more than 32km away from the vehicle at the time of the accident shows the importance of rest areas as part of a road safety strategy directed at fatigue management. We would like to see all participants in the road transport industry and government agencies set a goal of 32 kilometres for rest area placement, especially along major freight routes,” Mr Clark said.
“Under the program’s first funding round, 34 Driver Reviver locations received federal funding to invest in high-impact signs to promote key road safety messages and awareness of Driver Reviver sites. In Round 2 of funding Driver Reviver, owners can apply for grants to make improvements to shelters, picnic tables, power and water facilities, barbecues, parking, lighting and equipment. Priority will be given to restoring Driver Reviver sites affected by the horrific bushfires of 2019 and 2020. Facilities at rest stops are of vital importance.
“We would like to see all rest stops graded in accordance with the 2019 Austroads’ Guidelines for the Provision of Heavy Vehicle Rest Areas Facilities. All rest stops should meet a minimum standard that includes good, clean facilities and adequate space for heavy vehicles. Now is the time for all governments to embed consideration of heavy vehicle rest areas in all road planning as a priority to support road safety,” Mr Clark concluded.
Round 2 of the Driver Reviver Site Upgrade Program is a targeted competitive grant round with applications closing 25 February 2021.
Further information, including application guidelines and submissions, is available at www.grants.gov.au.