July 23, 2024 9:56 PM

Free Cuppa


There is no disputing the importance of taking a break when doing long road trips to ensure the safety of everyone on the road.

This is why from March to May each year the Local Government Road Safety Program NSW runs the Free Cuppa For The Driver campaign which encourages drivers to stop at participating cafes and rest stops for a free coffee or tea.

Across the Upper Hunter there were 16 businesses that participated in the program which gave coffees to people who were over 100 kilometres from the address on their drivers licence.

“Despite COVID -19 lockdowns and several cafés closing temporarily, Free Cuppa businesses in the Upper Hunter gave away 273 coffees, predominately to essential workers,” Alison Balding (Road Safety Officer for the Upper Hunter) said.

“As this is only the second year the Upper Hunter has been involved in the scheme this was very encouraging.”

“And even though Free Cuppa for the Driver has finished for this year, drivers should still apply strategies to prevent becoming tired whilst driving,” she said.

As a part of the program drivers and participating businesses can enter random draws, of which Kasha Coffee Lounge in Muswellbrook was a recipient.

“I signed up because it’s good to be an active part of the community you live in and it’s the right thing to do,” Jenn McFarlane, owner of Kasha Coffee Lounge said.

Offering someone a bit of respite and a little chat while they enjoy a much needed cuppa.

“They get to enjoy one of the towns hidden gems and almost always comment on the original furniture so then I get to brag about my historic cute little vintage café – it is a win- win really.”

Drivers are encouraged to remain aware of the early signs of fatigue which include yawning, heavy eyes, and / or poor concentration.

When taking long trips plan where you will be stopping to ensure you get enough breaks along the way, this can be done using the interactive map of rest areas on the Roads and Maritime Services website