Busting road fatigue

Over 23 local council areas are working together to implement the 2018 Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme in a bid to reduce tired drivers and fatigue related crashes on roads in Western NSW.

Across western and south-western New South Wales, 95 businesses have signed up to participate in this coming year’s Free Cuppa for the Driver initiative.

Drivers who have travelled more than one hundred kilometres from the address on their drivers licence are eligible for a free cup of tea or coffee from those participating businesses.

Dubbo Regional Council’s Road Safety Officer Jayne Bleechmore said that the second biggest killer on NSW roads is from drivers who are tired.

“When you fall asleep behind the wheel you aren’t able to react by slowing down and moving out of the way from hazards ahead, which means the crash is more likely to be fatal,” said Ms O’Brien.

This scheme allows drivers to access a ‘free cuppa’ from participating businesses who have a variety of trading hours, which improves the schemes accessibility.

The Local Government Road Safety program provides participating businesses with takeaway cups, banners and all other resources required, and the free cuppa is directly provided by participating businesses.

“If it wasn’t for participating businesses supplying the ‘free cuppa’, then this scheme wouldn’t be possible and I would like to thank the 13 enthusiastic businesses in Dubbo, Eumungerie, Mumbil and Wellington who are taking part in next year’s scheme,” said Ms Bleechmore.

The ‘Free Cuppa for the Driver’ scheme will officially launch in Orange on 1 March 2018 and will continue to offer free coffee and teas until 31 May 2018.

Next year the ‘Free Cuppa’ takeaway cups will be biodegradable and have one size to fit all lids, to minimise the impact this scheme has on the environment.

The ‘Free Cuppa’ website, freecuppa.com.au, has also been recently established to allow drivers to search for the nearest participating business as well as find useful information on the scheme. There is also an active Facebook page that everyone is encouraged to like to keep up to date on the scheme and its participating businesses.

Since the scheme’s inception in 2010, over 6700 free cuppas have been provided to eligible drivers and over 850,000 Facebook reaches have been made.

This scheme complements the long established Driver Reviver program, which is a national initiative targeting driver fatigue and the Driver Reviver sites will be offering free cuppas to travellers over the 2017/2018 Christmas school holiday period.