Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP is urging motorists to slow down and rethink their driving habits during August as part of an effort to drive down the State’s road toll.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and we all have a part to play when we get behind the wheel,” Ms Cooke said.
“People often believe that incidents on country roads are caused by motorists who are unfamiliar with the roads. The reality is that most incidents occur within a few kilometres of home, by motorists who have driven those roads many times.
“It’s this familiarity that often leads to dangerous driver behaviour. Too often people think it’s okay for them to quickly check a text, to drive faster than the speed limit because they know the road or to get behind the wheel when they’re tired. It’s not.
“The message is clear: don’t drive tired. Don’t text while driving. Don’t drink while under the influence. And please wear your seatbelt no matter what.”
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the NSW Government had partnered with the Australian Road Safety Foundation and the Australian Government as part of Rural Road Safety Month.
“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 because they believe they know the road like the back of their hand,” Mr Toole said.
“But the reality is country roads account for more than two-thirds of all fatalities and more than one-third of all serious injuries on NSW roads.
“In 2018, 241 people died on country roads. That’s the equivalent of an entire rural community we’re losing every year on our country roads.
“Every life lost on our roads is a tragedy, especially for the victim’s family and friends, but it also has a ripple effect on the local community.
“In small country communities, it’s not uncommon for first responders who arrive at a crash and the medical teams who try to save the lives of the drivers and passengers to know the victims.”
Rural Road Safety Month runs for the duration of August and is a national awareness campaign promoting regional and rural road safety month. More information can be found at https://arsf.com.au/rrsw-home/.