Free cuppa for drivers

Businesses support road safety by taking the opportunity to participate in an award-winning project.

Sixty two businesses across Western and South Western regional New South Wales (NSW) have signed up to participate in this year’s Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme.

Eighteen local councils are coming together, some for a seventh time, to implement the successful and multi-award winning Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme, which has continued to develop and expand since it’s inception in 2010.

The scheme will see visiting drivers (who have travelled at least 100 km) offered a ‘free cuppa with the locals’ in a bid to encourage them to take rest breaks from driving long distances.

Dubbo City Council’s Road Safety Officer Jayne Bleechmore said, “The scheme encourages drivers to take a break from long distance driving before they become fatigued and we encourage them to stop for a free cup of tea or coffee, a chat with a local and perhaps a look around an area they haven’t visited before.”

The Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme was officially launched in Parkes on 1 March 2016 and will be operational until 31 May 2016.

“We have had yet another enthusiastic response with the Dubbo Local Government Area with 10 businesses signing up to take part in this year’s scheme.

“The scheme is a win/win/win. It’s especially a win for road safety as tired drivers will stop to take a break, it’s a win for local towns as they attract more visitors and it’s a win for the local participating businesses as they attract more customers, who usually buy something to go along with their free cuppa. “Feedback from last year’s business owners demonstrated their commitment to road safety in that they took fatigue driving prevention very seriously and did their best to promote awareness by giving away as many coffees as they could. Several business owners said this was one easy way by which they could actually contribute to the reduction of road crash injuries and fatalities in their patch.”

Participating businesses are provided with training and branded promotional packs to get them started. Window decals, competition entry boxes and entry pads, teardrop banners and/or sandwich boards and plenty of cups are also provided to all participating businesses.

Last year over 1,700 free cuppas were provided to eligible drivers throughout 161 cities, towns and villages with most participating drivers travelling for work, on holiday or visiting family.

Free Cuppa for the Driver booklets, which identify every participating business, will be available in local caravan parks, motels and Visitor Information Centres throughout each of the 18 local government areas.

The Free Cuppa for the Driver free Apps will once again be readily available for downloading.

Between 2010 and 2014 there were 712 fatigue related crashes across the 15 participating local government areas. These crashes resulted in 54 fatalities and 1,222 injuries.