BUSINESSES across the region are being invited to register for a program targeting driver fatigue.
The award-winning Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme is now open for 2017 and organisers are inviting local businesses to register for phase seven which will operate from March 1 to May 31, 2017.
The scheme encourages visiting drivers to stop at participating businesses for a free cup of tea or coffee as they take a break from driving long distances.
Now in its seventh year, the scheme sees partnerships formed between participating councils and local businesses.
The councils provide the marketing and resources while the businesses provide the free tea and/or coffee.
Bathurst Regional Council and Blayney Shire Council road safety officer Iris Dorsett says the scheme is a win for road safety as drivers take a rest break and a win for local towns and businesses who attract more visitors and customers.
“Last year participating businesses reported an almost 30 per cent increase in sales as drivers would usually purchase something else with their free cuppa,” Ms Dorsett said.
“We also know that two-thirds of vehicles that participated in the scheme contained multiple passengers who also purchased goods.”
The scheme will be operating throughout at least 17 local government areas within western and south western NSW.
“This essentially means the Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme now covers almost all of the western and south western areas of NSW,” Ms Dorsett said.
Since its inception in 2010, the Free Cuppa for the Driver scheme has given away 5700 free cups of tea and coffee through 182 participating businesses in 63 cities, towns and villages throughout Western NSW.
“There were five participating businesses in Bathurst and Blayney during phase six last year and at this early stage we have already received two local business registrations,” Ms Dorsett said. “In phase seven we’d love to welcome even more businesses.”