Truck Friendly Manager Ken Wilson today announced he and his wife, Jenny, are considering stopping the caravan road safety program, which quickly garnered over 18,000 Facebook followers.
“Without any ongoing funding, we are finding it very hard for us to continue in a meaningful manner,” said Wilson. “This commitment has taken its toll on health, family budget, and family life over the last few years.
Wilson said they had a few wonderful sponsors helping fund their stickers and brochures. However, they still seem to need further funding from local, state, or federal governments, according to a report.
“Even the larger road safety organizations are out of the question, despite us persisting with various funding submissions where we get zero response even to say ‘thanks but no thanks!” he said.
Wilson said Truck Friendly still receives numerous requests from caravan parks, caravan clubs, police, and councils for all areas of Australia for it to assist with information at workshops, club rallies, and expos.
“Unfortunately, without funding, we can not accept these requests,” he said.
His frustration at the lack of support heightened when he compared Truck Friendly’s popularity to the RV Safe program of the federal government.
The RV Safe program launched in December 2019 with AU$1.1 million of taxpayer money spread over four years, and it started only four months after the founding of the Truck Friendly Caravan Road Safety Program.
Wilson said he’s disappointed that the future of the volunteer organization is now up in the air. His home state of Queensland has the highest caravan densities in Australia and is currently on track for one of the highest road tolls in decades.
Truck Friendly evolved out of the award-winning ‘Stay on Track Outback’ (SOTO) caravan safety program run by the Queensland Police at Charleville Qld in 2017/18.
In the first two years, SOTO helped reduce caravan accidents in the Charleville Police district by 50%, proving education works, said Wilson.
However, due to SOTO’s continuing funding delays, changes in police leadership, and eventual demise, Wilson decided to take Truck Friendly as a standalone program.
Today, Truck Friendly helps educate on safe caravan towing practices and cooperates with other road users, including heavy transport. The program also has a unique ‘I’M TRUCK FRIENDLY’ caravan sticker program to promote cooperation between all road users.
“We would love nothing more than to do this full-time and help create an even safer environment for everyone on the road – especially caravanners, RV’er’s, and truckies,” added Wilson.
“We will take the next few weeks to consider our options before making any final decisions.”
This article originally appeared on Big Rigs.