For 6 years RAAG advocated for a Heavy Vehicle Rest Area at Waverley Creek, 160 kms south of Mackay in the centre of a very high fatigue crash zone, culminating in the opening in July 2012 of a magnificent facility, RAAG has conducted two HV driver surveys since the opening at the site.
Research Report on the Bruce Highway Heavy Vehicle Fatigue Survey and “Truckie Reviver”
Truckie Reviver Overview
- Driver fatigue remains a road safety priority in Central Queensland as it continues to be the leading contributing factor to crashes on high-speed roads, particularly among heavy vehicles.
- The Bruce Highway Heavy Vehicle Fatigue Survey and Waverley Creek “Truckie Reviver” initiative described in this report is just one of a number initiatives led by the Road Accident Action Group (RAAG) in their efforts to “reduce road crashes involving fatigue”.
- In particular, the data generated through this exercise will complement a larger Rest Areas and Stopping Places (RASP) project being undertaken in the region to engage industry in the development and upgrade of suitably located rest areas/stopping places in the Bowen Basin.
- More information on the RASP project and RAAG can be found at: www.raag.com.au
- The objectives of “Truckie Reviver” were threefold:
- To collect information from heavy vehicle drivers on their working conditions, current and regular trip patterns, rest area requirements and other road safety issues;
- To engage with heavy vehicle drivers in an effort to promote this site and the use of other designated rest areas, as well as provide educational information on sleep apnoea and fatigue management strategies; and
- To undertake a post-construction audit of the new Waverley Creek Rest Area (approximately 160km south of Mackay at St Lawrence).
- Given that the primary aim of the “Truckie Reviver” was to collect information on improving rest areas and fatigue management from the end users’ perspective, the initial focus was on developing a tool and recruitment methodology to capture heavy vehicle drivers’ ideas.
- Development of the brief questionnaire involved input from Transport & Main Roads (TMR), RAAG, Central Queensland University (CQU) and local industry and health professionals with expertise in the field.
- The recruitment strategy was to provide a “Truckie Reviver” facility at the new Waverley Creek Rest Area for a continuous 72 hour period, while encouraging heavy vehicle drivers to share their ideas through the questionnaire.
- The “Truckie Reviver” was originally scheduled for March 17 – 20 but was postponed due to a possible cyclone event. It was subsequently held from Sunday May 19 (12pm) to Wednesday May 22 (12pm).
- The “Truckie Reviver” facility, worked on similar principles to TMR’s Driver Reviver program, whereby heavy vehicle drivers could get free refreshments while taking a break from the driving task. In addition to usual tea, coffee and biscuits, drivers were offered cold drinks, fruit, a sausage sizzle and/or cereal.
- In terms of promotion, the initiative was widely publicised through local media, service stations and industry/trade networks, as well CB Channel 40, both prior to, and during, the event. Handmade roadside signage was strategically placed to the north and south of the site to also advertise the event.
Results from the survey were collated, and suggestions made from the survey passed on to DTMR, resulting in solar lights being installed at the southern end, line marking improvements made.
Solar lights with sensors suggested for shade table structures, as yet not installed.