Raymond Terrace Lions Club, police urge drivers to Stop, Revive, Survive this long weekend

STOP IN: Raymond Terrace Lions Club president Kate Moore with John Howard and Rob Findley OAM at the Twelve Mile Rest Stop Driver Reviver. The site will be open between October 3 and 4. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
STOP IN: Raymond Terrace Lions Club president Kate Moore with John Howard and Rob Findley OAM at the Twelve Mile Rest Stop Driver Reviver. The site will be open between October 3 and 4. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

Bob Findley has been volunteering at Raymond Terrace Lions Club's Driver Reviver site since it was established 33 years ago.

During that time he has served countless numbers of travellers innumerable cups of tea and coffee, too many to recall, but one encounter Mr Findley will never forget is the night he watched a man pull into the Driver Reviver site with his family and stumbled out from behind the wheel.

"I thought he was drunk at first," Mr Findley said. "But he was just that tired. I don't think you ever really know if you're making an impact but you have to think that you are."

Raymond Terrace Lions Club members and volunteers from the community were manning the Driver Reviver site at Twelve Mile Creek Rest Area in the days leading up to the school holiday break.

They will be back at the rest stop on Thursday, October 3 and Friday, October 4 in the lead up to the long weekend where they are expecting up to 1500 northbound drivers to pull in and Stop, Revive, Survive.

Medowie Lions Club will man the southbound Medowie Rest Area during the same period.

On offer at Driver Reviver sites, which are open for 24 hours during peak travel periods, are free beverages and biscuits.

Raymond Terrace Lions Club member Peter Francis, who coordinated the Twelve Mile Creek Driver Reviver site for six years, said volunteers serve around 1500 people each long weekend and holiday break, but up to 3500 during Christmas and New Year's.

"There are so many accidents caused through weariness and inattention," Mr Francis said. "We really encourage drivers to stop for 10 minutes, get out of the car and move, have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Stop, Revive, Survive. That's our motto.

"When you're driving, you're in charge of a weapon. That's what a car can become, especially when you're tired."

Port Stephens police's Acting District Operations Inspector Kristin Marshall reiterated road safety messages in the lead up to the October long weekend, and urged motorists to be patient during this time.

"With the influx of holidaymakers into tow, there will be an increase police presence on the roads," she said.

"We encourage motorists to plan their trip, to Stop, Revive, Survive, to expect delays and to be patient."

The annual state-wide long weekend traffic operation Slow Down will begin at midnight on Friday, October 4 and finish at midnight on Monday, October 7.

Double demerits will apply during this period. In addition to speeding, seatbelt, helmet and mobile phone offences, police will be targeting drink and drug driving.

During the 2018 Operation Slow Down period, five lives were lost in four fatal crashes on NSW roads.

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