Smart Rest Area Trial now underway

The Australian and NSW Governments are working together on a Smart Rest Area Trial that will allow heavy vehicle drivers to receive instant information about nearby rest areas and their facilities.

Centre for Road Safety General Manager, Marg Prendergast, said that Transport for NSW is using Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (CITS) technology to tell heavy vehicle drivers where heavy vehicle rest areas are located; the distance and estimated travel time to rest areas; and about vacancy details of those rest areas.

“The aim of the trial is to improve road safety for heavy vehicle drivers, helping them to better manage fatigue by taking rest opportunities,” she said.

The trial will start in late May and will run for about four months, involving seven popular rest areas for trucks over 210 kilometres on the Newell Highway between Narrabri and Gilgandra.

“Each rest area will be fitted with equipment that measures the size of the vehicles entering and leaving the rest area, and how much parking is available,” added Prendergast.

“An app will then tell participating drivers whether parking is available for their size of vehicle. The equipment only measures vehicle length and cannot identify vehicles or drivers.”

According to the Government, the potential benefits of the trial include improved fatigue management for heavy vehicle drivers; reduced fatigue-related heavy vehicle crashes; improved heavy vehicle road safety; better trip planning; improved transport industry productivity; better integration of in-vehicle systems.

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