Key Issues and Concerns
A number of issues have been identified as causing concern between recreational vehicle (RV) users and heavy vehicle drivers within designated rest stops as well as in danger or risk on the road as RV users and heavy vehicle drivers co-exist on Australian roads.
- RV users and heavy vehicle drivers are filling rest stops beyond capacity and heavy vehicle drivers are forced to seek alternative areas for their compulsory breaks, causing them undue fatigue and risk.
- RV users and heavy vehicle drivers have different needs at rest stops, causing a number of issues between the two parties:
- RV users become agitated with the “unsocial” hours of heavy vehicle drivers arriving at and departing from the rest area;
- RVs set up in designated heavy vehicle areas in a way that prevents heavy vehicles from effectively using the space; and
- There is a lack of both defined etiquette and accountability for disruptive behaviour.
- Separation of rest area sections for different users is being ignored as are signed time limits.
- Environmental hazards are becoming an issue with the dropping of grey water and rubbish by RV driver who are unaware of appropriate dumping sites in townships or at designated caravan parks along highway routes. While this may not impact on the functionality of the rest area, it does impact the aesthetics of the area.
- Truck wind when heavy vehicles and / or caravans pass one another causes a potential risk for caravan sway, which can prove difficult for the inexperienced or unprepared RV driver. Should this cause an accident, there is also the potential risk of injury or death. With increasing numbers of caravans being registered each year, this risk grows and particularly when innovative technology is not used within trailer set-ups and education is not provided to RV users.
- With heavy vehicle lengths getting larger (e.g. the introduction of Super Quads), the need to understand passing distances and road etiquette where RV users and heavy vehicles interact is important to mitigate potential accidents for both vehicles involved in the passing manoeuvre and also with other road users.
Educational resources available through Co-Exist include
- The importance of fatigue management;
- Tips to “Co-exist” on the road;
- Guide for passing trucks;
- Guide for rest stop etiquette; and
- Online training tools for stakeholders.