Free cuppa a driving force in road safety campaign

WHETHER on a family road trip, travelling for business or hauling freight, any driver travelling more than 100 kilometres away from home can claim a free coffee at participating Orange cafes.

The Free Cuppa for the Driver initiative is in its fourth year, and this year it will run until the end of May.

Michael Gryllis is the owner of the Patmos Gardens Cafe near the Botanic Gardens.

His cafe is one of four taking part in Orange.

“It has to be a good thing if it’s saving lives,” he said.

This year’s program has been largely successful. 

Alyson Yaeger, the manager of the 2 Fat Ladies cafe at Lucknow, said her venue had provided around 80 drivers with coffee since the drive began in May.

“However, we are constantly finding that ... a high percentage of drivers are too humble to actively ask for the free drink,” she said.

Mr Gryllis says this year’s campaign period has been quieter than in previous years and he has seen modest numbers claiming free caffeine.

“Two or three a week,” he said.

Ms Yaeger believes truck drivers and salespeople driving across the central west may feel they are not eligible for a free drink.

“They could really benefit from the service, but they don’t feel like they are eligible for the offer, but this is far from the truth,” she said.

Thirteen council areas across north- and central-western NSW are taking part.

The campaign is intended to help reduce the road toll, with fatigue accounting for 15 per cent of all crashes in participating council areas between 2008 and 2012.

In the Orange area, drivers can grab a free cuppa from 2 Fat Ladies, Scrumptious on Summer, Bissy’s Cafe and the Patmos Gardens Cafe.

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