INFORMATION GATHERING: Rest areas trial map identifies stops.
INFORMATION GATHERING: Rest areas trial map identifies stops. Contributed

Cameras spot parking

DON'T fear big brother at New South Wales rest stops, the government is only checking to see if there are parking spots left.

In a trial to see if Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems technology can help heavy vehicle drivers, truckies will use an app that is linked with monitoring equipment at rest stops along the Newell Highway.

Truck safety advocate Rod Hannifey has spoken out about the trial, saying a lack of information could see some drivers staying away from the rest stops because it looked like cameras were filming truckies.

However, Transport New South Wales said truck drivers were not being monitored.

No cameras were being used and the equipment only measured the size of vehicles entering the rest area and was not able to identify a driver or vehicle.

The Centre for Road Safety is undertaking the trial of Smart Rest Areas along the Newell Hwy on behalf of the NSW and Australian governments.

Centre for Road Safety general manager Marg Prendergast said the project aimed to improve road safety for heavy vehicle drivers through helping them to better manage fatigue by taking rest opportunities.

The Smart Rest Areas trial will allow heavy vehicle drivers involved to receive real-time information about:

where heavy vehicle rest areas are located

distance and estimated travel time to rest areas

vacancy details of those rest areas

The trial, which started in late May and runs for four months, involves seven rest areas on the Newell Highway between Narrabri and Gilgandra, spanning 210 kilometres.

"Each rest area will be fitted with equipment that measures the size of the vehicles entering and leaving the rest area, and how much parking is available," Ms Prendergast said.

"An app will then tell participating drivers whether parking is available for their size of vehicle."

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