Beth Surh, Yvonne Laegel and other Marburg SES members have relaunched a
Beth Surh, Yvonne Laegel and other Marburg SES members have relaunched a "driver reviver" project to ensure nobody falls asleep behind the wheel. Photo: Ebony Graveur

Rebooted life saving mission needs more hands on deck

IF THEY save the life of even one person, Yvonne Laegel and her friends will consider their time well spent.

Just before Christmas, a small group of mostly SES members teamed up to relaunch a program in the hope of reducing traffic crashes caused by fatigue.

Beth Suhr is among the founding members of the group and says the idea behind “driver reviver” is simple.

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“If we can stop even one person from going to sleep and crashing into a car coming from the opposite direction, I think we’ve done a good thing,” Beth said.

“We are trying to stop people being killed by going to sleep while driving a long distance. We give them tea, coffee and biscuits and the chance to have a break.”

The program ran at Amberley for 20 years, ending in 2019 after the founder fell ill.

Beth Surh, Yvonne Laegel and other Marburg SES members have relaunched a
Beth Surh, Yvonne Laegel and other Marburg SES members have relaunched a "driver reviver" project to ensure nobody falls asleep behind the wheel. Photo: Ebony Graveur

Other volunteers were determined to get it up and running again.

“There are so many people who stop here that say thank goodness they could stop and that they nearly fell asleep coming down the Cunningham Hwy,” Beth said.

“Talking to everyone, you can see they really appreciate the break.”

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She said some drivers had travelled from as far as Cairns, trying to make it to Victoria before borders closed.

“You see the people turn up and their eyes are all bloodshot and they have a cup of coffee and they have a chat and a couple of bickies,” she said.

“You can see their eyes clear.”

For the program to work, the group will need more hands on deck.

“We already have 14 but we need a lot more,” she said.

“We’ve covered the shifts up until Australia Day but we need people for the Easter break, which starts on April 1.”

The station is set up at the shed near the BP at 2487 Cunningham Hwy, Purga.

Anyone interested in finding out more or lending a hand is invited to contact coordinator Yvonne on 0407 452 105.

Read more news by Ebony Graveur.



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