The small Western Australia shire of Cranbrook, 320km south of Perth, is leading by example when it comes to looking out for truckies’ safety.
The local council has just opened a purpose-built heavy vehicle rest bay area – replete with showers, toilets and ample truck parking – that it hopes will help fight fatigue and save lives on the region’s busy highways.
Shire of Cranbrook Manager of Works Jeff Alderton said its completion was well timed on the eve of harvest.
He also hopes its completion mitigates the number of heavy vehicles parking illegally overnight “on any town street they could find”.
Alderton said that restricted heavy vehicle movements on the Cranbrook-Frankland East Road was a key reason for the construction of the bay.
“There is a road (Cranbrook-Frankland East Road) which runs between Albany Hwy and Great Southern Hwy with the main intersection right in the middle of Cranbrook Town.
“Back in 2015/16 there were 15,180 heavy vehicle movements on this road alone during the harvest period of November to January and of these 14,000 where exceeding the speed limit.
“With consultation with Main Roads a restriction was imposed on Restricted Access Vehicles (RAV) that they were not allowed to use this road as a through fare.
“An alternate route was via the Albany Highway-Great Southern Highway intersection.
“The harvest of 2016/17 saw heavy vehicle traffic drop from 15,180 to 1,518 and the number speeding dropped from 14,000 to just over 400.”
The state’s Road Safety Commissioner Adrian Warner will officially open the facility on October 30.