Government removes controversial truck sign after backlash
A CONTROVERSIAL sign at the Sleepy Hollow rest area in NSW, which requested that truck drivers turn off their engines so nearby residents could sleep, has been removed after Big Rigs got involved.
In an apparent bid to reduce noise in the neighbourhood, the sign asked drivers parked between 7pm and 7am to comply, including those with refrigeration units.
A concerned driver first alerted us to the contentious order beside the Pacific Motorway between Tweed Heads and Ballina a few weeks back.
Our resulting online story sparked an outpouring of criticism and a fair amount of head-scratching at the RMS as to the reason why the sign was even there in the first place.
"If people who complain about noise were served rotten fish or any food that went off they wouldn't like it and that could happen," said Bunny Brown, president of the Australian Long Distance Owner and Drivers' Association.
"The law says truckies have to sleep but authorities say we can't. A driver may be just 25km from home and has to stop or face a $1500 fine. Markets want the cold goods on time and we are caught in the middle."
When Big Rigs first asked Transport for NSW for clarification about the sign and the possible ramifications for truckies if they didn't turn off their engines, we got the below emailed statement.
"Transport for NSW will investigate the signage. Transport for NSW aims to ensure all signage from the department supports the freight industry in terms of managing fatigue and refrigerated loads, as well as the needs of the neighbouring residents."
A spokesperson confirmed the RMS had taken the sign down and sent us this follow-up statement via email.
"Transport for NSW acknowledges the importance of the heavy vehicle industry and the fatigue management requirements," the spokesperson said.
"This is reflected in the number of rest areas available along the Pacific Highway allowing heavy vehicle drivers to take long and short rest breaks, use amenities, and check loads and vehicles.
"While the sign has been removed, we continue to ask heavy vehicle drivers to be good neighbours when resting at areas near residential properties by reducing noise where possible."