NRMA welcomes rest stop funding

Rest area sign NSW Australia
Rest area sign NSW Australia

17 September 2021: The NRMA has today welcomed funding announced by the Australian Government to upgrade more than 70 roadside rest areas across the country to combat driver fatigue.

The funding announced today by the Deputy Prime Minister and Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport sees $7.2 million upgrade rest areas and improve facilities.

NRMA Road Safety expert Dimitra Vlahomitros said fatigue is one of the biggest killers on our roads with 319 lives lost on NSW roads in the last five years due to fatigue.

“The NRMA welcomes this announcement, we have long been campaigning for improved rest stop facilities and called for upgrades in our 2017 report,” Ms Vlahomitros said.

“Driving tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol, and rest areas provide a safe space for all road users to take a break from driving and to stretch their legs before getting back behind the wheel.”

“Great rest stop facilities not only make regional travel easier, but rest stops with facilities that drivers want to stop to use will make regional travel safer,” Ms Vlahomitros said.

“As NSW prepares to reopen, we know the first stop for many people will be planning to hit the road to see loved ones or for a long awaited getaway.”

While regional travel opening up will be a great boost to the hard hit regional economy, Ms Vlahomitros encouraged drivers to do so after a good night’s sleep.

“While we know many drivers like to ‘beat the traffic’ or get a ‘head start’ on their trip by leaving early in the morning, this can be dangerous. We want drivers to hit the roads fully rested and to travel at times they would normally be awake,” Ms Vlahomitros said.

“The only way to combat tiredness is to take a break, research has shown a power nap of 15 minutes can significantly reduce a crash.”