Rest area improvements on the Dukes Highway are a high priority due to the number of crashes caused by fatigue. A review of detailed crash records indicates that 14% of all crashes on the Dukes Highway can be directly attributed to fatigue. It is estimated however, that fatigue is the main contributing factor in approximately 25% of crashes that result in serious injuries.
This improvement will involve implementing a roadside rest area program that includes constructing seven new rest areas and upgrading nine existing rest areas between Tailem Bend and the Victorian Border.
All new and upgraded rest areas will provide a sealed parking area within the rest area, and signage and amenities including fencing, bins, tables, shelters and lighting at larger rest areas. At selected Parking Bays there will be no new amenities. New and improved rest areas will have sufficient capacity for at least four B-doubles trucks, provide amenities that include bins, tables, shelters and lighting, a sealed parking area and a sealed entry to and exit from each rest area.
The Dukes Highway roadside rest area program aims to provide:
- Rest opportunities at 15 kilometre intervals, and opportunities for extended rest breaks (with access to amenities and services) at no greater than 100km intervals.
- A range of rest areas suitable for both short and longer stops, where motorists can sleep if necessary.
- Sufficient capacity to accommodate a minimum of four B-doubles at any one time.
The rest areas on the Dukes Highway have been categorised as follows:
- Rest area - off road, public parking area that provides road users with the opportunity to take an extended break.
- Parking bay - off road area primarily provided for heavy vehicle operators to take short rest breaks, i.e. 15–30 minutes.
All above rest areas have been completed and are available for use by the public.