Free Cuppa for the Driver campaign shifts up a gear

By Dominic Geiger

The success of the ‘Free Cuppa for the Driver’ campaign will see the initiative expand well beyond the borders of Forbes, Parkes and Lachlan Shires when it is reintroduced in Easter next year.

The campaign, which was first run last Christmas holidays, invites participating businesses to offer free cups of coffee or tea to drivers passing through town with the aim of combating driver fatigue in rural areas.

Speaking at the recent Lachlan Shire Council meeting, Road Safety Officer for the Forbes, Parkes and Lachlan Shires, Melanie Suitor, said businesses as far north as Moree would now be asked to participate.

“It was an interesting campaign and we learnt a lot from it,” she said.

“We had about 75 people who took part in the project fill out feedback forms and who also went into the draw to win various prizes.

“The feedback we received from businesses was that summer was too hot for people to want coffee or tea, so that’s why we’ve moved it to the Easter holidays this time.”

Melanie said the campaign also offered businesses a chance to promote themselves.

“We’ll be creating posters and stickers as well as erecting banners at the entrances to towns to help raise awareness about the scheme,” she said.

“We’ll also cross promote towns through tourism information centres and caravan parks.”

In Condobolin, approximately five businesses took part in the campaign last Christmas.

Angela Coceancic, from participating business Nolls Bakery, said she found very few people actually asked for the free cuppa, despite having promotional posters on the windows of the bakery.

“We found we offered the drinks more often than the customers asked for them,” she said.

“People were very appreciative, but it seems if people actually want coffee, they’re going to pay for it rather than be looking for something for free.”

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