Support for NSW heavy vehicle rest areas gathers momentum

Truck rest area for heavy vehicle drivers.

A Parliamentary Committee report into pressures on heavy vehicle drivers in New South Wales has “nailed it” according to the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad).

The NSW Legislative Council Committee on Transport and the Arts last week called on the State Government to construct more adequate parking bays and rest areas to help truck drivers comply with their rest break obligations.

It also wants the Government to run a community education campaign to discourage the use of rest areas by cars and caravans.

NatRoad appeared before the committee last year, pushing the case for more, better equipped rest areas.

Ensuring the safety of heavy vehicle truck drivers by having adequate rest areas is critical.

“It is a big issue with our members, and we advocated strongly on their behalf,” NatRoad Chief Executive Officer Warren Clark said.

“I’m happy to say the committee members got our message.

“Rest areas may not be the sexiest of topics to anyone outside our industry, but they are a preoccupation for many drivers for reasons of safety and complying with the rules.”

Clark said NatRoad was also pleased to see the committee call on the NSW Government to support the introduction of competency-based driver training programs for new heavy vehicle drivers.

“It’s not good enough that someone moves up the licence ladder on the basis of how long they’ve held a qualification,” Clark said.

“We have long held the view that drivers issued with a heavy vehicle licence must have the skill sets and experience needed to drive a heavy vehicle.

“We welcome the committee’s concurrence with that view and look forward to continuing to work with all governments towards a national competency-based licencing system.”

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