Local Government NSW (LGNSW) is joining the police and Transport for NSW in urging motorists to drive safely over the holidays.
With the Easter and Anzac Day public holidays landing so close together more cars are expected on the roads and drivers are being reminded to be careful and take a rest every couple of hours.
“There were 354 fatalities on NSW roads in 2018 and, although that’s 35 fewer than the previous year, there are still far too many people losing their lives on our roads,” LGNSW President Cr Linda Scott said.
“Around 67 per cent of these fatalities occurred on country roads, involving mostly local residents.
“There were 67 pedestrian fatalities (an increase of 13) and eight cyclists lost their lives (the same number as the previous year).
“All road users should be able to arrive safely at their destinations and we welcome the recent increases in road safety funding from both the state and federal governments.
“In January this year, the NSW Government announced an injection of $182m to boost road safety on country roads to install 113km of safety barriers, 3000km of rumble strips and 2800km of wide centreline to prevent run-off-road and head-on crashes.
“And during the state election campaign, the Liberals/Nationals committed an additional $1 billion for the maintenance of local roads and country bridges, which will also improve road safety and is great news for regional and rural councils.
“In the recent federal budget, the Australian Government announced an additional $550 million over the next 10 years for its Black Spot Program – this will see our state’s share increase from $23 million to $27 million a year, up from past levels of $13-14 million.
“While we welcome these increases in funding, this is still short of recent recommendations in the Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020, which recommended the federal government commit to a minimum $3 billion-a-year road safety fund.
“A road safety fund of this size could include funding to support councils in delivering better road safety outcomes for their communities through targeted local road safety campaigns and education programs.”
LGNSW is also calling upon the NSW Government to partner with LGNSW and councils to develop a better approach to road safety governance in NSW including improved strategic support so that we can work collaboratively towards achieving zero fatalities on our roads.
If you’re travelling over the holidays remember to:
- plan ahead
- slow down and drive to conditions
- take frequent breaks during distance drives
- stick to the speed limit
- never risk driving if you’ve been drinking or could be affected by drugs.
Police across NSW will be targeting all speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle/helmet offences, which will attract double demerit points.
“Easter and Anzac Day are times for friends, family, relaxation and reflection – let’s all play our part in ensuring everyone has an enjoyable and safe break,” Cr Scott said.