Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke is encouraging community groups to get behind road safety and apply for up to $30,000 in Community Road Safety Grants to help drive down the state’s road toll.

Ms Cooke said the program was a welcome boost for locally run campaigns.

“The NSW Government is committed to driving the road toll toward zero, with motorists and riders playing an important role,” Ms Cooke said.

“We know one in three Australian drivers are more likely to undertake risky behaviour on rural roads because they believe they’re either less likely to get caught or perceive there to be fewer dangers.

“The reality is, regional NSW makes up just one-third of the population, but two-thirds of all fatalities occur on regional roads.

“The Community Road Safety Grants Program aims to support community groups to work within their local communities on initiatives to keep everyone safe on the road.

“Local people know local issues. This program aims to bring people with a passion and commitment for road safety together and support their ideas to ultimately lower the NSW road toll.

“Previously successful projects which help spread the message of road safety include mentoring projects, road safety workshops and awareness campaigns focusing on children.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Roads and Infrastructure Chris Gulaptis said road safety was everyone’s responsibility.

“Round five of the Community Road Safety Grants program opened this week with community groups invited to submit ideas for local road safety projects,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“Two categories of grants are available: one for smaller projects with up to $5000 available for each idea and another for more substantial projects, worth up to $30,000.

“I encourage all community groups to put forward ideas to help support their local effort in bringing the road toll Towards Zero.”

Transport for NSW is awarding up to $2 million in grants over five years through the program using a competitive process. Applications can be submitted until 15 September. More information can be found at https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/aboutthecentre/communitygrants/.