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Sharing Rest Areas

Truckies and caravaners share rest areas

Rod Hannifey explains the need to share road side parking bays and their facilities among caravaners, campers and heavy vehicles.

It should be obvious ‘Truck Only’ parking bays need to be for trucks only. Parking bays which do not have designated signage need to be shared. With planning and consideration, all road users should be able to use the facilities as intended. By understanding that B’doubles and Road Trains are legally required to utilise these parking bays, Rod explains the need to consider everyone when we park. If Caravaners and campers grouped together, instead of spreading out, we can provide room for heavy vehicles to access these facilities. With some simple planning you will allow heavy vehicle drivers to take their legal rest breaks

Not only is access for heavy vehicles a problem but egress is also an issue. In the video, we show a B’double squeezing out of a parking bay between two caravans in the daylight. As you watch, imagine this at night with no lights. Consider also that late at night is when most trucks are going to be needing access to these parking bays, generally long after caravaners and campers are asleep.

Just as no one wants tired truckies on the road, we also don’t want tired campers on the road either. By thinking about each other we can achieve a safety benefit for all road users. The key word would be consideration for all.

Rod Hannifey has spent most of his truck driving career as a road safety evangelist and advocate for safety within the Australian road transport industry. He is an accomplished and respected columnist and has been an advisor to Industry and government on many projects. He also pilots the distinctive Truckright Industry Vehicle which is a K200 Kenworth in B’Double configuration.

8 thoughts on “Sharing Rest Areas
  • Chris Scott

    As a retired heavy plant and truck driver I reckon this video should be mandatory for all learner drivers as part of their licence conditions.

  • Mick

    I stayed at the Arrawarra rest area over night with caravan in tow for the first time last september as an alternative to stopping at the half way creek rest stop.
    We did stop in one of the long bays so we could find a place to park up for the night.From memory there are 6 spots along the fence where water and public dump point are located and as there was 2 vans allready there and cars as well we drove around again to find a suitable place to park.
    Again we had to park in a truck parking bay but we parked at forn of the bay so other vans small trucks could park behind us if needed.

    Well the next morning there were cars and vehicles with caravans or boats even one with a horse float parked anywhere and every where.
    And behind us the was 1 car parked about a 3rd of the way in with a huge gap between us and them.I have no idea why the single cars could not have parked over where the shelters and seat are where there was plenty of room .

    So maybe the RMS or who ever should mark out the truck bays so that dont know or who dont give a hoot as to where they can park.

    We again stayed here on the way home (south bound but was only for a couple of hours .

    Twin servo’s on the M1 is another example of oh well we park anywhere just to be closer to toilets and food shops ect.

    Only stayed here once over night ( i did ask 2 truck drivers if ok to park here over night and they were fine with that) just to be sure and we were right over as far as we could go behind 3 or 4 trucks and when one moved of we moved forward till we were right at the front with plenty of room behind us .

    Thats my bit for now

  • Bill Gates

    There are more Car only, no trucks allowed parking bays across Australia than there are truck bays. Caravanners wanna share OUR parking bays, maybe they should have a towing licence. Truckies are required to have mandatory breaks and are fined if caught running over hours. Caravanners are able to get to the next town.

    • Gary

      Its not OUR bays. Thats you staking a claim to them simply by demanding it. Legally, they are not YOURS. Tired is tired. They need to stop, and by law are required too. Its illegal to drive tired.

      We need to share them. Maybe we need more of them, but until then they are shared and people need to stop blaming the caravan or car driver for using facilities dessigned to alleviate fatigue on the road. Not simply to allow trucks to take mandatory stops.

      • Stephen McCarthy

        You are 100% correct Gary, however there are “Truck Only” bays and areas within shared bays that are for trucks only and these of course should be left for trucks only. Unfortunately most animosity comes from people seeing all that room in a Bdouble bay and grabbing it. Unaware that trucks will come in later and need the bay. It’s unfortunate but true, and it is also true that cars and caravans have the ability to go to town and a caravan park. Of course that means sometimes paying for an overnight spot. Truck drivers are working, caravans are holidaying, but you are correct, we don’t want anyone on the road when tired. Shared bays are to be shared and not claimed.

  • Jo-Anne

    I wonder if a sign stating TRUCKS ONLY 10PM TO 6AM or whatever their usual hours are would work?

    Or signs Truckies Only this way

    Or or or

  • Stephen McCarthy

    Thanks Jo, and yes you would think so wouldn’t you? However, sadly, these signs already exist on many parking bays however, people actually need to read them because they are still ignored. Then when challenged the response is usually “I didn’t know”. We still press on trying to raise awareness.

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