Operators of Driver Reviver locations across Wide Bay can now apply for a share of $7.3 million in Australian Government funding to upgrade their life-saving rest sites.
Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O'Brien said the Driver Reviver program played an important role in improving road safety by providing a safe place for road users to stop and rest.
"The volunteers of Wide Bay's Driver Reviver sites and everywhere do a fantastic job preventing driver fatigue providing a much-needed break and cuppa for drivers, their families and friends," Mr O'Brien said.
"The Driver Reviver program makes a proven contribution to road safety, reducing the risk of death or serious injury by giving drivers a convenient stopping place where they can take a well-deserved break.
"In regional areas like Wide Bay, these rest sites become even more critical as our communities and hard-working truckies depend on often long-haul trips to stay connected with loved ones, travel to work or get our locally-produced goods to markets, not to mention the increase in grey nomads and the domestic 'drive tourism' market that is growing every year.
"If there is one New Year's resolution I encourage every person in Wide Bay to make, it's to take road safety seriously and do what they can to help keep themselves and others safe on our roads – including taking breaks when they need it."
Mr O'Brien said fatigue was one of the 'Fatal Five' risk factors when driving, and taking a half-hour break could be the difference between arriving safely or not at all.
"As a former road crash investigator, I know the devastating and long-lasting impacts that road crashes have on families and communities, which is why it is so critically important to keep road safety front of mind through programs such as Driver Reviver," Mr O'Brien said.
"That's why the Morrison Government is investing $7.3 million under Round 2 of the Driver Reviver Upgrade Program, to allow existing Driver Reviver locations nationwide to upgrade amenities and install new equipment, and I strongly encourage all site owners in Wide Bay and beyond to submit their applications for funding as soon as possible."
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said driver fatigue had been identified as one of the 'Fatal Five' road safety factors that contribute to road trauma, being a factor in up to 30 per cent of all deaths and severe injuries on our 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 – with a total of $8 million committed under the Driver Reviver Upgrade Program and $1.2 million already out the door through the Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund," Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
"Driver Reviver owners will be able to use this round's funding for a range of much-needed amenities to entice road users to make good use of their sites, such as shelters, picnic tables, power and water facilities, barbecues, parking, lighting and of course equipment such as fridges or hot water urns that allow them to offer that much-needed cuppa with their friendly chats.
"Road safety is everyone's responsibility and while our Government is doing what it can to ensure Australia moves towards 'Vision Zero' of zero deaths on our nation's roads, initiatives such as the Driver Reviver program showcase what governments and communities can achieve when working together, and of course the role road users can play to ensure we all get home safely at the end of each trip."
Round 2 of the Driver Reviver Site Upgrade Program is a targeted competitive grant round with applications closing 23 February 2021.
Further information, including application guidelines and submissions, is available at www.grants.gov.au.
For more information on the Australian Government's road safety initiatives, visit www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au