The Federal Opposition has pledged $80 million for new truck rest stops. While NatRoad says this is welcome, more needs to be done at all government levels in order to reduce driver fatigue.
CEO of NatRoad, Warren Clark, says his organisation believes current funding programs for rest areas are “woefully insufficient”.
“The Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program (HVSPP) is one of the Australian Government’s main programs for funding rest areas and an industry analysis shows it is running at an annual spend of about only $5.5 million,” Mr Clark said.
“The whole national network needs to be thoroughly audited.
“You can’t have a world class road freight system unless you have strategically placed, world class rest areas.”
Mr Clark said any commitment of dollars better than current funding was welcome.
“It’s NatRoad’s strong view that Federal road grants to the states and territories need to be tied to upgrading and building truck rest areas,” Mr Clark said.
“All current and proposed rest areas should all be graded in accordance with the 2019 Austroads’ Guidelines for the Provision of Heavy Vehicle Rest Area Facilities and a plan put in place by governments for upgrading amenities and facilities.”
NatRoad’s policy is that road infrastructure should be upgraded to allow heavy vehicle access to rest stops so long as the benefits exceed the costs.
“Where road network constraints prevent heavy vehicle access, road managers should ensure there are adequate truck stops and logistics centres to allow larger vehicles to be broken down into smaller combinations.” NatRoad strategy recommends.