Praise for Driver Reviver upgrade grant program


NatRoad highlights importance of adequate rest options in fighting fatigue

Praise for Driver Reviver upgrade grant program
Michael McCormack is a Driver Reviver supporter

 

A $7.3 million grant allocation to upgrade Driver Reviver sites across Australia is welcomed by the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad).

Driver Reviver is a community program that has been operating in Australia for some 30 years, with sites providing drivers and passengers somewhere to stop and rest, particularly on long trips and during peak holiday periods.

The sites are managed by volunteers from a wide range of service organisations and community groups, who give their time to promote road safety by providing travellers with free beverages, snacks and conversation.

There are around 190 Driver Reviver sites across the nation that are able to share from the fund to upgrade amenities and install new equipment.

Federal transport minister Michael McCormack encourages site owners, including state and local governments, to submit their applications for funding.

"The devastating impacts of road crashes are absolutely gut-wrenching, which is why it is so vital to keep road safety front of mind and on everyone’s radars through programs such as Driver Reviver," McCormack says.

"That’s why I am proud to announce $7.3 million in grant funding now available under Round 2 of the Driver Reviver Upgrade Program, to allow existing Driver Reviver locations nationwide to upgrade amenities and install new equipment.

"It will also allow the establishment of new sites to expand the current network and reach even more road users, with priority given to restoring Driver Reviver sites affected by the horrific bushfires of 2019 and 2020."


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Assistant road safety and freight transport minister Scott Buchholz says driver fatigue is identified as one of the ‘Fatal Five’ road safety factors that contribute to road trauma and is factor in up to 30 per cent of all deaths and severe injuries on Australian roads.

"Driver Reviver sites are critical in tackling driver fatigue to make our roads safer, which is why I am proud to be part of a Government that continues to invest in the program," Buchholz adds. 

"We have now committed a total of $8 million under the Driver Reviver Upgrade Program and $1.2 million is already out the door through the Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund.

"We had 34 Driver Reviver locations from across the nation receive federal funding under the program’s first round to invest in high-impact signs to promote key road safety messages and awareness of Driver Reviver sites.

"These signs were absolutely vital for keeping people safe as we saw traffic get back on our roads as borders opened and the festive period arrived.

"This next round will allow Driver Reviver sites to deliver even more upgrades to support their life-saving work."

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark hails the announcement as an important 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."

NatRoad has called for all rest stops to be 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."

 

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