National Road Safety Week, which runs 6-12 May, is an initiative that honours more than 1,200 people who are killed and 35,000 injured on Australia’s roads each year.
As our President, David O’Loughlin explained in his column, Local Government have a responsibility, as the owners and managers of most of the country’s roads by length, to reduce this terrible toll.
More than half of all casualty crashes and 40% of all road deaths occur on local government roads. A motorist on a local road has a risk of being seriously injured that is 1.5 times higher than driving on a state road.
To raise awareness, landmarks around Australia, including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Brisbane’s Storey Bridge, will be lit in yellow, while organisers encourage people to wear a yellow ribbon and take a pledge to drive safely.
“Now in its seventh year, National Road Safety Week continues to grow across the country with the amazing support of Government, councils, emergency services, road safety groups, corporate partners and the community,” said founder, Peter Frazer, president of the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group.
“As the country turns yellow for the week, we implore all drivers to drive as if your loved ones are on the road ahead and make sure everyone gets home safely.
“Too many precious lives have been lost. Too many have been seriously injured, severely injured. We need to actively look after one another by choosing not to drive distracted, not to speed, and certainly to never drive under the influence.”
Mr Frazer created the week and SARAH group and road safety advocates following the death of his 23-year-old daughter, Sarah, who was killed in an avoidable crash on the Hume Highway in 2012.
Each day of road safety week takes a different theme. On Monday 6 May, people will pause at 12pm to remember 1,200 people who die on roads annually. On Wednesday 8 May, motorists are urged to protect emergency roadside responders by giving them space and slowing down as they pass.
Still on roads, and registrations have opened for the ALGA National Local Roads and Transport Congress to be held in the Adelaide Hills Convention Centre, Hahndorf, from 18-20 November 2019.
This year’s theme is ‘breaking through for modern transport’. Topics to be covered include the future of transport and how local government can benefit, and an update on the state of the country’s infrastructure by the new CEO of Infrastructure Australia, Romily Madew.