Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke today announced that the Sturt and Olympic Highways will benefit from the Saving Lives on Country Roads Program with upgrades at Narrandera and Young kicking off this financial year.

“Country people make up a third of the NSW population, but last year fatalities on country roads made up nearly 70 per cent of the road toll,” Ms Cooke said.

“The shocking truth is that you are four times more likely to be killed on roads in the country compared to people who live in the city.

“In this electorate alone, there have been five fatalities in the first six months of 2018.

“The Saving Lives on Country Roads Program aims to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads by addressing high risk curves and installing safety features to prevent driver fatigue and lane departure crashes,” she added.

The Sturt Highway at Narrandera has been allocated $400,000 and the Olympic Highway in Young $500,000 for development works. This funding will assist RMS with the development of safety improvements to reduce the likelihood and severity of crashes in the Cootamundra electorate.

The NSW Government announced the new Saving Lives on Country Roads infrastructure upgrade program as part of its Road Safety Plan 2021. In Round One, $50 million has been allocated to deliver 98 priority road safety projects.

The projects in Cootamundra form part of $640 million to deliver safety upgrades on country roads, part of a record $1.9 billion investment to improve road safety in NSW.

Canowindra Road and the Lachlan Valley Way in the north-eastern part of the electorate will also benefit from upgrades with the total improvements worth over $2 million for the Cootamundra electorate as a whole.

“Development of projects will get under way in Narrandera and Young from next month, with staff from RMS investigating the most effective road safety infrastructure treatments to help keep motorists safe on the Sturt and Olympic Highways,” Ms Cooke said.

“Some of the options they will consider include safety barriers, wide centre line and audio-tactile line marking.”

A second round of infrastructure upgrades will take place next financial year.

Along with these safety works, the Saving Lives on Country Roads advertising campaign continues to be rolled out to encourage drivers to think twice about their behaviour on the road.