Parkes businesses join forces to reduce driver-fatigue crashes on NSW roads

ON BOARD: Kerri Miles and Alexandra Hall from Pink Orchid Café & Flowers in Parkes, who are participating in the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme for the first time. Photo: Submitted
ON BOARD: Kerri Miles and Alexandra Hall from Pink Orchid Café & Flowers in Parkes, who are participating in the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme for the first time. Photo: Submitted

The 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme is celebrating 10 years in 2020 and six businesses from Parkes have put their hands up to help fight driver fatigue and reduce our road toll by offering free cuppas to tired drivers.

In total there are 15 businesses from around the three shires - Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan - participating.

These businesses will join more than 90 businesses across the Hunter, South West and Western regions of NSW to participate in the next phase of what has been described as a successful 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme.

Participating businesses will be encouraging drivers to take regular breaks by offering a free cup of tea or coffee to any driver who is on the road, more than 100 kilometres away from their home.

Since 2010, more than 23,000 free cuppas have been given away through the scheme.

During that time, across NSW fatigue-related crashes have fallen 19 per cent, says Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor.

She said the second biggest killer on NSW roads is drivers who are tired.

"When you fall asleep behind the wheel you aren't able to react by breaking or moving out of the way of hazards, which means the crash is more likely to be fatal," Ms Suitor said.

Free cuppas are available from a broad range of businesses with varied opening hours, making regular breaks and free cuppas more accessible than ever.

An initiative of local councils and Transport for NSW, the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme runs each year from March 1 to May 31.

"If it wasn't for the participating businesses supplying the free cuppas then this scheme wouldn't be possible and I would like to thank the 15 enthusiastic businesses across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils who are taking part in this year's scheme," Ms Suitor said.

"Many of whom are returning and we warmly welcome those who are joining us for the first time.

"A special shout-out to Forbes Bakehouse who have participated every year for the last 10 years!"

An official launch to celebrate the 10 year milestone will be held in Templar Street in Forbes on Thursday, February 27.

The local participating businesses for 2020 are:

Parkes Shire

  • Railway Arts and Crafts (Bogan Gate)
  • Railway Hotel (Bogan Gate)
  • Parkes Coffee Pot
  • Parkes Services Club
  • Pink Orchard Café & Florist
  • Casho's (Tullamore)

Forbes Shire

  • Isabel's Place
  • Forbes Bakehouse
  • Forbes Inn Hotel/Motel
  • Subway - Forbes

Lachlan Shire

  • Vantage Fuels Condobolin
  • Shell Condobolin
  • Condobolin RSL Club
  • Fisho's Hotbake and Takeaway (Lake Cargelligo)
  • Tulli Café (Tullibigeal)

The 'Free Cuppa' website, freecuppa.com.au, allows drivers to search for the nearest participating business as well as find useful information on the scheme.

There is also an active Facebook page that will keep you up-to-date on the scheme and the participating businesses.

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