Upper Hunter businesses Double Picc, Café Munchies, The Old Teahouse, The Bar, The Cottage and Scone Visitor Information Centre helping reduce driver fatigue crashes

ONE-hundred and four business across the state, including half a dozen in the Upper Hunter, have signed up to participate in the 2019 Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme. 

Drivers who have travelled more than 100 kilometres from the address on their licence can get a free cup of tea or coffee from those participating outlets.

Twenty-three local government areas are working together to implement the successful and multi-award winning Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme to reduce the numbers of tired drivers and fatigue related crashes on NSW roads. 

This year, both the Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook shire councils will participate in the program for the first time.

Upper Hunter road safety officer Alison Balding said the second biggest killer on NSW roads was drivers who were tired.

“When you fall asleep behind the wheel you aren’t able to react by slowing down and moving out of the way from hazards ahead, which means the crash is more likely to be fatal,” she explained.

“This scheme allows drivers to access a ‘free cuppa’ from participating businesses with a variety of trading hours, which improves the scheme’s accessibility.”

The Local Government Road Safety initiative provides participating businesses with takeaway cups, banners and all other resources required.

The “free cuppa” itself is directly provided by participating businesses.

“Without participating businesses supplying the ‘free cuppa’, this scheme wouldn’t be possible and I would like to thank the six generous businesses in the Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook shires who are taking part in the scheme,” Mrs Balding said.

Registered businesses in the Upper Hunter and Muswellbrook areas for 2019 are:

Double Picc, Muswellbrook

Café Munchies, Muswellbrook

The Old Teahouse, Muswellbrook

The Bar, Scone

The Cottage, Scone

Scone Visitor Information Centre, Scone

The Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme will be launched on March 1 and will continue to offer free coffee and tea until May 31.

The takeaway cups are biodegradable and have one-size-fits-all lids, to minimise the impact the scheme has on the environment.

The free cuppa website, freecuppa.com.au, also allows drivers to search for the nearest participating business and other useful information on the initiative.

There is an active Facebook page, too, that everyone is encouraged to like to keep up to date on the scheme and the participating businesses.

The scheme complements Driver Reviver, which is a national initiative targeting driver fatigue.

To find out locations and opening times, visit www.tollgroup.com/driverreviver. 

Volunteers are always needed at Driver Reviver sites, including towns such as Merriwa and Singleton.

If you would like more information about the Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme, contact Upper Hunter Shire Council’s road safety officer Alison Balding by email abalding@upperhunter.nsw.gov.au