Businesses join forces to fight fatigue with Free Cuppa for the Driver 2022

LONG SERVICE: Michael Greenland at Subway - Forbes, who clocked up 10 years of participation last year. Picture: SUPPLIED
LONG SERVICE: Michael Greenland at Subway - Forbes, who clocked up 10 years of participation last year. Picture: SUPPLIED

Ten businesses from across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas have put their hands up to help fight driver fatigue and reduce our road toll by offering free cuppas to tired drivers from March 1 to May 31, 2022.

These local businesses will join almost 70 businesses from across regional areas of NSW who are participating in the 'Free Cuppa for the Driver' scheme, which is entering its 12th year.

The participating businesses will be encouraging drivers to take regular breaks by offering a free cup of tea or coffee to any driver who is more than 100kms away from home.

Since 2010, the scheme has seen more than 27,000 free cuppas given away in 265 participating businesses across 91 towns, villages and cities in regional NSW. During that time, across NSW fatigue-related crashes have fallen by 19%.

The scheme is an initiative of 21 regional council areas in the Western, South Western and Hunter regions of NSW in partnership with Transport for NSW. This year the scheme welcomes Bland, Coolamon, Junee and Temora Shire Councils who are participating for the first time.

Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said that 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 very accessible.

"If it wasn't for the participating businesses supplying the 'free cuppa', then this scheme wouldn't be possible. I would like to thank the 10 enthusiastic businesses across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas who are taking part in this year's scheme.

"Welcome to our new businesses - Café Eighteen73 in Parkes and the Tullibigeal Co-Operative.

"Times have been anything but normal of late, and I'd like to acknowledge the businesses that have decided to press pause on their participation in the scheme this year. Please accept our deepest thanks for your participation previously - we quite literally could not have run this program without your support.

"Congratulations to Bowser Bean Café in Condobolin, Fisho's Takeaway and Hot Bake in Lake Cargelligo, Parkes Coffee Pot and Subway - Forbes, who clocked up 10 years of participation in 2021. They join Forbes Bakehouse as long-time supporters of this program," Ms Suitor said.

To find a Free Cuppa venue and plan your breaks for your road trip, go online to www.freecuppa.com.au