A comprehensive road safety education campaign targeting country drivers between the NSW government, Fairfax Media and other partners is aimed at reducing the road toll, Troy Grant has said.
The Dubbo MP and Police Minister said the campaign was the first to solely target regional NSW.
It was time to challenge the ‘yeah but!’ attitude of excuses many drivers make to justify taking deadly risks on our roads like speeding, drink and drug driving, driving tired and not wearing seatbelts, Mr Grant said.
“We need to face up to the fact that far too many country people are dying on our roads,” the Dubbo MP said.
“Last year we lost 252 people in the country. That’s two thirds of the road toll for the entire state.
“Here in Dubbo 48 people have lost their lives and nearly 346 were seriously injured in the past five years from 2012 to 2016. This has to stop.
“And that’s why a campaign like this is so important to get the message across to country drivers that it’s not tourists or people from the city dying on their roads, it’s locals.”
On Monday Fairfax launched its Survive The Drive campaign alongside the government, in a bid to eradicate the complacency that plagued regional motorists, despite a rising death toll.
“It’s also time for the excuses to stop. It’s not good enough for drivers to say things like ‘Yeah, but I was only going a few kilometres over the limit’ or ‘Yeah, but I didn’t think I needed to take a break because I was so close to home’ or ‘Yeah, I’d had a few drinks but I needed to get the kids home’,” Mr Grant said.
The government’s campaign is backed up by a comprehensive $70 million road safety infrastructure investment package for this financial year which includes $54 million for vital safety upgrades on the state’s riskiest regional roads.
In the Dubbo electorate, along the Mitchell Highway from Trangie to Nevertire, Narromine, the NSW government is installing rumble strips to alert tired drivers along the edges and centrelines, roadside hazards are also being removed and raised reflective markers are being installed.
The $550,000 project is expected to be completed by June 2018.