I move that this House:
1. Notes that at noon on 5 May 2016, all Australians were asked to "Remember the [email protected]", and pause for a minute's silence to honour the 1,209 people who were killed on our roads last year, including 348 people in New South Wales, as part of National Road Safety Week 2016.
2. Recognises the important work of Safer Australian Roads and Highways [SARAH] Inc. to promote initiatives that will bring about improved road safety and to support those affected by road tragedy, which started as a result of the Hume Highway crash of 15 February 2012 that tragically took the lives of Sarah Frazer and Geoffrey Clark.
3. Supports the road safety campaigns of SARAH Inc. and National Road Safety Week, and urges all Australians to think about their driving and the responsibility we all share on the roads.
4. Reflects on the 1,209 who lost their lives on Australia's roads last year and expresses its condolences to all the family and friends whose lives have been changed forever by the loss of those dear to them.
This motion is neither political nor controversial; it is an important and serious issue for the communities represented by every member in this Chamber.
‘Drive So Others Survive’ is the call from the Safer Australian Roads and Highway, or SARAH Group, formed by Pete Frazer in the wake of the tragic death of his daughter, Sarah Frazer, and the tow truck driver and father of four, Geoffrey Clark, who was assisting her with a broken down vehicle.
The SARAH Group campaigns nationwide through its Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety Week campaign, as well as its education and awareness raising efforts through local schools and in partnerships with state and territory governments across the Country.
It is distressing to note that the road toll this year is considerably greater than previously.
The Government is running its own campaign, ‘Drive Towards Zero’.
We need to continue to educate and raise awareness, but we must also improve driver training and skills.
As a Member representing an electorate that is intersected by a major highway, a highway that acts as a main road through most of our towns and villages, I am all too aware of the impacts on local communities of dangerous driving, poor quality roads and poorly maintained vehicles.
Simple things, like keeping left unless overtaking – whether there’s a sign telling you to or not – or giving trucks enough space to pull up at a set of traffic lights are crucial to ensuring our safety on the roads.
We need a radical shift in the driving culture on our roads. Too many drivers are complacent and inattentive and this heightens the crash risk for themselves and every person they drive near or drive past.
While we need to change behaviours, there is a role for government to play too in ensuring our roads infrastructure is of the highest possible quality, with emergency and breakdown lanes built to Australian standards, and that our licensing and enforcement regime is used to eliminate reckless and dangerous driving.
I have been calling upon the Roads Minister to investigate some sections of the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains that are built to obsolete safety standards, and I acknowledged that he has promised to undertake safety and traffic studies in Katoomba, Springwood and Wentworth Falls.
But as the pledge put to the community by the SARAH Group alludes to, it is not just Government that can resolve the road toll. We need drivers to change their behavior to eradicate reckless or inattentive driving and for everyone to Drive So Others Survive.
I ask through this Motion that the Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay MLC, join with the SARAH Group in reflecting on the deaths of over 1200 people this last year on roads across Australia and join the ‘Remember the 1200 @ 12:00’ initiative.
This campaign can built upon the NSW Government’s own awareness campaigns and assist in our collective efforts to drive down the road toll in this state.
I commend the Motion to the Chamber.