For truck drivers like Toll driver Garry, the permanent Driver Reviver stop in Avon Downs, outback Northern Territories, provides the ideal location to take a break during the long drive across the country into Queensland. Garry uses the break at Avon Downs to stretch his legs and have a cuppa, while reducing the risk of driver fatigue on his eight-hour trip from Mount Isa to Tennant Creek.
April Ragg, who runs the Avon Downs site from the Trackers building veranda, next door to her house, believes that having a safe place where all drivers can stop and relax is important in supporting a reduction in fatalities on our roads.
“Most of our truck drivers out here use the stop. You never know what might happen on the roads and Driver Reviver gives them a chance to manage their fatigue while in the middle of nowhere,” says April. “The closest truck stop is four kilometres down the road but doesn’t have a toilet or any shelter and certainly doesn’t offer a free drink and biscuit.”
The Avon Downs site has been operating off and on for 18 years, with April responsible for running the site for the past four. Located 70km from Camooweal and 270km from Mount Isa, the 24/7 site provides welcome relief to those travelling along the highway.
“There is no mobile coverage along this stretch and it can be a long wait between vehicles at times,” explains April.
The site welcomes cars, caravans and, of course, trucks. It has seen everything from general carriers to car carriers and even cattle trains pull up.
Toll Driver Reviver is run thanks to the commitment of volunteers, like April, who provide a rest stop for drivers and their passengers to help prevent fatigue — one of the biggest causes of fatalities on our roads. Drivers can enjoy a free cuppa, snack and a chat thanks to the volunteers’ dedication and generosity of their time.