Despite a slight rise in the NSW road toll in 2019 compared to the previous year Griffith was one of only a hand-full of the State’s Local Government Areas that remained fatality free during the 12 months ending December 2019.
Crash data statistics show the Griffith LGA has in fact remained fatality free for more than 18 months but it is the first time since 2004 that a full calendar year has passed without a road related fatality being recorded.
Serious injuries resulting from crashes in 2019 remained steady in comparison with the previous year however the five year trend does show a 17% reduction in the number of people requiring hospital admissions due to injuries sustained in road crashes.
Griffith City Council’s Road Safety and Traffic Officer,Greg Balind has welcomed the reduction in road trauma across the LGA however he has sent out a plea to all road users not to lose focus on road safety.
“It’s certainly great news that Griffith is one of only a few Local Government Areas across New South Wales to remain free of road deaths in the last calendar year and I commend road users on their approach to being safe on our roads,” Mr Balind said.
“But while the statistics show a decline in the number of fatalities and serious injuries in our area, it doesn’t mean we should become complacent therefore I urge all road users to maintain a positive approach when on our roads so everyone arrives at their destination safely.”
In mid-2019, Griffith City Council commenced a road safety investigation and assessment project under the Local Government Road Safety Program (Transport for NSW) whereby research into the associated factors contributing to casualty crashes on local roads was conducted. The results of this research and the outcomes of road safety audits have been used by Council to implement engineering treatments to provide a safer road environment on the road network. In support of improved infrastructure, educational programs directed at road users have been used with the view of changing their behavioural approach while on the road and to increase the perception of the real dangers associated with risk taking.
“Irresponsible actions such as speeding, drink driving, mobile phone use or not driving to the conditions are all factors that can lead to trauma on our roads – they are also factors that can equally be mitigated by a change in behaviour,’ said Mr Balind.
“Every choice made on the road has an impact on safety therefore it is imperative that all road users accept responsibility for their decisions and that non-compliant road users understand that any adverse actions they may wish to engage in on our roads has the potential for dire consequences to result.”
Research focusing on areas where road safety can be improved across the LGA and the subsequent corrective actions associated with the outcomes of those investigations will be ongoing. The goal is to keep the road safety conversation active by introducing facts and questions into the public debate with the view of achieving a community understanding that adverse behaviour on the road is not acceptable.
“It is hoped that by people making positive decisions while entering the road environment the downward trend relating road trauma will continue throughout 2020,” added Mr Balind.