TAKING YOUR SPACE: There's only one way to solve it
IT'S UNACCEPTABLE for non-truck vehicles to use truck rest areas in any circumstance.
That was the overwhelming response from more than 500 commenters on the Big Rigs Facebook page after we shared a photo taken at the Arrawarra rest area in New South Wales by truckie Lawrence Hardy.
Big Rigs is running a campaign in 2020 to stamp out the unacceptable use of these rest areas so you can do your job properly.
Many drivers aired their frustration at the image, given no matter how much we talk about it the issue never goes away.
Vic Sartor said an education campaign was the only viable solution.
That involved caravan sales brochures stating that it was "unacceptable" to use truck rest areas, all the backpackers getting a bit of literature upon applying for a Visa, and a little government backing in the form of making truck parking a priority, with caravan parking areas to be built separately.
"I was talking to a vanner the other day and in order to stay at the tourist park at Burleigh Heads he had to arrive on a Saturday and leave on a Saturday, minimum one week booking," he said.
"So if you can't get to the park in time for whatever reason you are forced to stay on the road.
"As for camping spots, the whole Gold Coast parks insist on a minimum two-night booking (used to be three), so if you are just passing through you are forced to stay out on the road once again.
"It's all well and good to whinge on the truck pages, but the backpackers don't even know the pages exist."
Keith Morrell said he had been saying it for years.
"With local trucks parking at servos and holidaymakers swarming rest areas, it's obvious more emphasis needs to be put on government-provided secure truck-only parking areas," he said.
"We are restricted so much by where we can park and face heavy fines if we don't, so why can't they provide a place for us to comply?"
But Copes Mandravelos pointed out something worth noting when it comes to backpackers from overseas.
"These people are from another country, they don't understand what we know. I'm sure they mean no harm and would respect our parking bays if they were aware of their value to us. Let's help educate and not criticise."
Wendy Sebastyan also stuck up for the drivers.
"Unless it says trucks only, they really have the right to stop in ap arking area. There are signs all over the roads telling motorists to rest every two hours and many don't like to drive at night because of roos and age," she said.
"I can see the problem when they start using the area to camp in instead of resting. Must be frustrating for the truckies. I have seen a lot of truckies take up small picnic spots, so works both ways I guess.
"Perhaps councils need to make better resting spots for both truckies and travellers with better signage and more thoughtful design."