It was a quieter than usual long weekend for the volunteers who man the Mundanoon rest area on the Hume Highway.
According to figures supplied by volunteer groups there were 1800 people and 900 cars that stopped during the Australia Day long weekend.
In comparison, during the five days that the rest area was manned in the Christmas and New Year period 10,500 people passed through.
The rest area will not be manned now until the Easter long weekend.
When it is expected that a large number of people would pass through.
For the last 22 years, various volunteer groups have manned the stop; Yass and Gunning Lions clubs, a church group, Fire Brigades, Yass FM radio station, Masonic Lodge, and the State Emergency Service.
“It’s about keeping people safe on the highway,” Gunning Lions Club member, Margaret McPherson said.
The original group set it up because they wanted to make sure everyone survived their holiday journeys.
It is believed, that since the initiative started back on Good Friday in 1997 that there hasn’t been a fatality on the Hume Highway in this area while the Driver Reviver rest area is manned.
“It was a way of getting people to stop and break their journey.”
Two sites are operated on the southbound and northbound Mundanoon rest stops on the Hume Highway, between Gunning and Yass. It is believed to be the only designated rest area between Sydney and Melbourne which is on the highway.
The open periods are at the peak periods of travel:
- Christmas/New Year
- Australia Day long weekend
- June long weekend
- October long weekend
“The weekend just gone it was open at 8am on Saturday and closed at 5pm on Monday, and it’s manned for 24 hours by different community groups, and those are volunteers.
“People will make a donation to just stop and have a chat… and break their journey,” Ms McPherson said.
The coffee and tea, and biscuits are donated by Toll Freight Company who are also the national sponsors.
“It’s an absolutely fantastic service, we have not had a road death in our region since that Easter Good Friday 1997 when it first opened,” Ray Hill, who was on the original committee said.
“Therefore, does it prove anything?
“Well it must do!
“It hasn’t happened, which I like to think it is because of the work we do.
“It’s a great initiative there is no doubt about it.”