SLEEPY HOLLOW STOUSH: The controversial sign causing a stir in the NSW town.
SLEEPY HOLLOW STOUSH: The controversial sign causing a stir in the NSW town. James Graham

Rest area sign causes turmoil at Sleepy Hollow

A SIGN at the aptly named Sleepy Hollow rest area in NSW which asks drivers to turn off their engines at night has made many truckies angry.

It is beside the Pacific Motorway between Tweed Heads and Ballina with southbound and northbound areas.

The sign advises that trucks parked between 7pm and 7am should turn off all engines, including those on refrigeration units.

To reduce noise to nearby homes and allow residents to have a good siesta.

The rest area is popular with truck drivers many who have to stop for fatigue breaks. However the sign isn't.

Especially the part about refrigerated truck engines.

Numerous drivers have contacted Spy about it. Some are not sure if it is illegal to keep engines running or just a request by the Road and Maritime Authority as the sign does include the word "please".

A fired up ALDODA president Bunny Brown said it was difficult for drivers with refrigerated units to turn their engine off when parked anywhere.

"If people who complain about noise were served rotten fish or any food that went off they wouldn't like it and that could happen," Bunny said.

He said drivers were governed by strict fatigue laws and sometimes had no control over where they had to pull up.

"The law says truckies have to sleep but authorities say we can't. A driver may be just 25km from home and has to stop or face a $1500 fine. Markets want the cold goods on time and we are caught in the middle."

Bunny said the refrigerated engines don't make much noise anyway.

"I have been in my sleeper box many times overnight and couldn't even hear the engine," he said.

Bunny had a suggestion for road transport authorities about how to resolve the issue.

"They could build a big fence around some places there in which refrigerated trucks could park and there would be no noise," he said.

When Big Rigs asked Transport for NSW for clarification about the sign and the possible ramifications for truckies if they didn't turn off their engines, it caused a fair bit of head scratching before we got the below emailed statement.

"Transport for NSW will investigate the signage. Transport for NSW aims to ensure all signage from the department supports the freight industry in terms of managing fatigue and refrigerated loads, as well as the needs of the neighbouring residents."

Big Rigs

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