Country drivers urged to slow down to save lives

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Drivers travelling in regional NSW are being urged to slow down this Rural Road Safety Month, with more than two-thirds of the lives lost on NSW roads occurring in the country.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said crashes have claimed the lives of more than 180 people in NSW so far this year - 115 of those occurring on country roads – and the campaign served as a reminder to do the right thing behind the wheel.

“Every time you get behind the wheel, the choices we make can have fatal consequences,” Mr Toole said.

“Every life lost or serious injury suffered represents a family, a friend and a community that is impacted.

“Speeding remains the biggest contributor to road fatalities, accounting for 39 per cent of fatalities last year.

“The NSW Government is committed to making roads safer for everyone, which is why we’re investing more than $640 million in the Safer Roads Program for regional NSW, along with $140 million from the Federal Government to roll out life-saving projects.”

The NSW Rugby League and State of Origin coach Brad Fittler have thrown their support behind the campaign.

“Too many local people are dying and being seriously injured in our country towns, and it’s having a devastating knock-on effect on their families and local communities,” Mr Fittler said.

“Too often, people think it’s okay for them to quickly check a text, to drive faster than the speed limit, have that extra drink, or that driving tired is okay because they know the road. It’s not.”

Australian Road Safety Foundation founder and CEO Russell White said the nation-wide Rural Road Safety Month served as a reminder that road safety was everyone’s responsibility.

"We will continue to see an unnecessary loss of life in rural communities until we acknowledge that all road users have a personal responsibility to ensure safety is front of mind when behind the wheel,” Mr White said.

Rural Road Safety Month is an initiative of the Australian Road Safety Foundation, more information can be found at: https://arsf.com.au/rrsw-home/  and the Safer Roads program: https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/safer-roads/index.html