Road toll isn’t simply a number. It is people. And sadly, it is closer to home than we think.
As a long-term member of the Local Government Road Safety Program (LG RSP), Strathfield Council is proud to be a strong advocate of road safety awareness. In conjunction with Roads & Maritime Services (RMS), Council works closely with enforcement agencies and local stakeholders to engage the community and address unsafe behaviour on the roads. Better understanding of road safety issues and solutions is integral to achieving our goals. The multi-pronged strategy involving education, enforcement and engineering works has proven to be a highly effective approach.
Commitment to the program is demonstrated by the employment of a part-time Road Safety Officer (RSO), who will support Council’s Traffic Engineer to address local road safety concerns. The RSO will run public education campaigns and deliver several road safety initiatives targeting road users.
There are three main concerns in Strathfield LGA:
- Young drivers
Data obtained from RMS shows that in the Strathfield Council local government area (LGA) for the 5 year period between 2011 and 2015, young drivers are over-represented, making up 26% of all motor vehicle drivers involved in crashes. 6 % of all road crashes in Strathfield involved speeding, with fatigue accounting for 5% of crashes. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 2% of crashes.
Of casualties by road user group, motor vehicle drivers ranked highest at 73% (significantly higher than 64% for both Sydney and NSW region). Motor vehicle passengers came next at 18% (again higher than Sydney and NSW regions).
Ongoing areas of road safety concern for Council include pedestrian safety, safety around schools, driver distraction, occupant restraint use, fatigue, alcohol and motorcyclist safety.
Projects to address these areas and any other road safety concerns that may arise are run each year with funding from Council and the RMS. These projects are targeted at the relevant groups or the general population and are designed to increase the awareness of road safety and its importance in our lives.
Road Rules Awareness Week (February/March) provides an annual opportunity for drivers to refresh their knowledge of existing rules and learn details of new or changed rules. It also allows pedestrians, motorcyclists, passengers and cyclists to better understand the rules and improve their safety on or near the road.
During Road Rules Awareness Week, road users are encouraged to phone the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) contact centre on 13 22 13 to have their questions answered. Road safety experts can help provide advice on even the most complicated enquiries quickly and clearly. Road users are also invited to view the NSW Road Users Handbook.
The RMS publication Top 10 misunderstood road rules in NSW provides simple answers to many road rule questions, including how to indicate at a roundabout, when to use high-beam and fog lights, and when it is permitted to make a U-turn at traffic lights.
For further information or to obtain a printed copy of the brochure Top 10 misunderstood road rules in NSW, please visit the Strathfield Council’s Customer Service at 65 Homebush Road, Strathfield, the Strathfield Library at 65-67 Rochester Street, Homebush or contact Council’s Road Safety Officer on 9748 9605.