Free cuppa for the driver scheme now on

Forbes Country Bakehouse is one of the local businesses participating in the Free Cuppa program, pictured are Kristin Barnard and Grant Rea.

Forbes Country Bakehouse is one of the local businesses participating in the Free Cuppa program, pictured are Kristin Barnard and Grant Rea.

Driving more than 100km away from home? You can get a free cuppa at participating businesses between now and May 31.

The seventh phase of the multi-award winning ‘Free Cuppa for the Driver’ scheme was launched at the Old Dubbo Gaol on Wednesday 1 March in a bid to reduce fatigue-related crashes on NSW roads.

The scheme allows drivers who have travelled more than 100 kilometres from the address on their drivers licence to qualify for a free cup of tea or coffee from 92 participating businesses in an area that stretches from the Queensland border to the Victorian border across Central and South West NSW.

Launching the program, Emergency Services Minister Troy Grant emphasised how important initiatives like the 'Free Cuppa' scheme are given the recent increase in fatalities on NSW roads.

Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said that since its inception in 2010, over 5,700 free cuppas have been given away from 185 participating businesses in 161 cities, towns and villages.  

"It's great to see the scheme expanding again this year to include an additional seven council areas in the South West Region," Ms Suitor said.

Fatigue is one of the biggest killers on NSW roads - contributing to 72 fatal crashes over the last 12 months.

“'Free Cuppa for the Driver' doesn’t just target drivers travelling in cars or caravans but also heavy vehicles," Ms Suitor said.

Drivers can use the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' App and its GPS tracking technology to find a participating business, its open hours and see the type of parking available on site.

There is also a Free Cuppa website and Facebook page with more information.

Pictured at the launch are road safety officers Melanie Suitor, Renee McMillan (Moree) , Orana Acting Superintendent Scott Tanner, Andrea Hamilton-Vaughan (Orange and Cabonne), NSW Emergency Services Minister and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, Jayne Bleechmore (Dubbo and Gilgandra), Cheyenne O'Brien (Warrumbungles) and Iris Dorsett (Bathurst and Blayney).

Pictured at the launch are road safety officers Melanie Suitor, Renee McMillan (Moree) , Orana Acting Superintendent Scott Tanner, Andrea Hamilton-Vaughan (Orange and Cabonne), NSW Emergency Services Minister and Member for Dubbo Troy Grant, Jayne Bleechmore (Dubbo and Gilgandra), Cheyenne O'Brien (Warrumbungles) and Iris Dorsett (Bathurst and Blayney).

The launch was attended by Mr Grant along with other special guests including Acting Superintendent of the Orana Local Area Command Scott Tanner, Dubbo Regional Council's Administrator Michael Kneipp, Coordinator of Regional NSW High Productivity Road Transport's Alliance John Morris, Commissioner NSW Volunteer Rescue Association Mark Gibson ESM and Dubbo participating business owner Michael Dodd.

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