NatRoad welcomes the announcement by the Queensland Government about improved rules to strengthen heavy vehicle use of rest areas for fatigue management.
The new rules address unlawful camping by non-heavy vehicle drivers, such as ‘grey nomads’ and backpackers along state-controlled roads and prohibit long-term camping of these road users on the state-controlled road network. The changes simplify the rules about rest areas to ensure they are only used to manage driver fatigue. In particular, the amendments ensure that commercial heavy vehicle drivers can stop and rest safely, although enforcement of the law will remain important.
To ensure awareness of the improved rules, an education campaign has commenced. The approach to enforcement will involve education, formal warnings and fines as a last resort but this element of the new approach will be vital in assisting heavy vehicle drivers.
Commenting on the announcement NatRoad CEO, Warren Clark, said “Heavy vehicle rest areas are in effect part of freight drivers workplaces. They are required by law to take fatigue breaks and rest areas must be available for this purpose. We know grey nomads and backpackers often want to use these rest areas, but when they do, they are poorly affecting road safety and should instead find their way to designated camping sites.”
NatRoad calls on all state and territory governments to follow Queensland’s lead and take action to ensure that heavy vehicle rest areas are available to commercial heavy vehicle drivers only so that they can effectively manage their fatigue and comply with their legal work and rest obligations.
Find out more about the new regulations and penalties for light vehicle drivers at www.qld.gov.au/restareas
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