Local businesses are invited to help tackle driver fatigue by registering to take part in next year's 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme.
The multi award-winning driver fatigue awareness campaign will run from March 1 to May 31, 2021.
The scheme encourages visiting drivers to stop at participating businesses for a free cuppa and to take a break from driving long distances.
Entering its 11th year, the scheme sees partnerships formed between participating councils and businesses. Councils provide the marketing and administer the scheme while the participating businesses provide the free cuppas.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says that unfortunately, due to the COVID pandemic the 2020 phase didn't go according to plan.
"Just as the scheme kicked off this year, COVID restrictions were put in place, putting a stop to non-essential travel, seeing some participating businesses close their doors or reduce their hours while others innovated to keep their doors open," she said.
"In 2021 we expect to see the opposite, with a large increase in road travel as international travel and domestic flights remain heavily restricted or reduced.
"It will be more important than ever to encourage drivers to stop, revive and survive.
"The 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme is a win for everyone involved."
Since its inception the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme has given away more than 27,000 free cuppas in 265 participating businesses across 91 towns, villages and cities in regional NSW.
"There were fifteen local participating businesses in the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas in 2020 - a variety of cafes, bakeries, service stations, clubs and pubs," Ms Suitor said.
"The support and involvement of the participating businesses is essential to the success of this program and potentially saving lives on our roads.
"We'd love to see our existing businesses return for the 11th phase in 2021 and warmly welcome new business partners as well.
"This year we are launching a new website and trialling a new promotional strategy which includes a new social media approach, radio advertising and targeting market segments such as grey nomads, motorcyclists and families."
The closing date for phase 11 registrations is Friday, October 30.
If your business would like to participate in the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme please contact Melanie Suitor on 6861 2364 or email Melanie.Suitor@parkes.nsw.gov.au