Deputy Premier and Minister for Police Troy Grant and Minister for Roads Duncan Gay have launched a new advertising campaign, Towards Zero, which highlights the human element of the road toll to help drive down crashes and fatalities.
“We’re facing what can only be described as a state tragedy where too many people are dying on our roads – 38 more than the same time last year,” Mr Grant said.
“A road toll of 164 in less than six months is not just a number – it’s children’s lives that have ended before their time, it’s mums and dads who will never come home again, and it’s grandparents lost to their families forever.
“If this trend continues, there will be more than 60 more people killed in 2016 than 2015 which is horrifying.”
“The reality is that as a community we’ve become complacent. We’ve come to accept that people will die on our roads and that’s not good enough. We need to all work together towards zero deaths on our roads.
“We hope the Towards Zero campaign will start a conversation about how many road deaths are acceptable and the role everyone can play preventing them. There is only so much police and government can do, it’s up to every road user to do their bit too.”
Mr Gay said speeding sadly is still killing people despite our extensive efforts to slow people down. Pedestrian deaths have increased in this year’s toll even though we have put in place more measures than ever before to protect them.
“Motorists are still flouting the law, regardless of the longest and most intense high-visibility police operations this state has ever seen,” Mr Gay said.
“All of this, and more, is partly funded by the NSW Community Road Safety Fund, a fund created from the money raised from speeding fines. We’ll keep funding and in fact, increase our infrastructure build, police enforcement, our education campaigns and investment in safer vehicles and technology, to continue to try and save lives.”
In addition to the NSW Government’s historic $1.2 billion spend in road safety over the past five years, a number of targeted initiatives to help address some of the emerging issues arising in the road toll are also being implemented including:
- Acceleration of $20 million to roll out rumble strips (road markings on the side of the road that generate noise when driven over), wide centre lines and crash barriers across NSW;
- $250,000 for in-ground traffic light technology trial at key crossings in the CBD; and
- $5 million over three years for up to 200 vehicle-activated signs to warn drivers when they are speeding or approaching hazards such as curves.
It has been reported that the in-ground traffic light technology is aimed at pedestrians using mobile phones who are not looking where they are going.
“I can invest billions into making our road network safer and continue to deliver our road safety programs but I cannot control drivers, riders or pedestrians from making bad choices,” Mr Gay said.
“People need to make smarter choices and think about all the other innocent road users around them.”
The Towards Zero advertising campaign began on 29 May.