A trucking lobby says the industry needs more rest areas.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says that in this financial year, the Federal Government expects that it will only be able to spend $46.4 million of its $60 million budget for truck rest areas and other productivity projects.

The fatigue laws require truckies to take regular breaks but there are not enough truck rest areas.
“When they are available, too often they are filled with caravans or are in an appalling condition,” ATA chief Ben Maguire said.

“Too many rest areas do not include basic amenities like toilets, lighting, water and shade. Any other workplace would not compromise on the provision of these facilities.

“Our hardworking truck drivers deserve better.”

SA Road Transport Association (SARTA) executive officer Steve Shearer says governments should not wait for a tragedy to boost rest stop funding.

“Short of arming ourselves with pitchforks, and any other implements we get our hands on, and marching on parliament, you just don't get anywhere,” he said.

“They do not see votes in it, so they do not do it.

“Unfortunately, we are waiting for a horrendous accident to happen and for a coronial inquest to find that the truck driver was fatigued, and the reason he was fatigued was that he was unable to pull into a rest area and have a sleep.”

Current federal requirements stipulate rest stations should be available for truckies every 80 kilometres.

At current funding levels, Mr Shearer says it will take about five decades to fulfil that requirement.