More Than a Number: Road Trauma Taking a Toll
Drivers are being urged to take extra care over summer with the State’s road toll already at 330 – seven higher than last year.
330 people gathered at Bankwest Stadium today to demonstrate the huge loss of life on our roads with authorities fearful the toll will climb even higher over the busy holiday period.
“It is devastating to think 330 people haven’t made it home this year. That’s 330 families celebrating Christmas without a loved one. The impact is massive and it’s not just deaths that are the tragedy on our roads. Almost 11,000 people have suffered serious injuries in crashes in just 12 months,” Minister for Roads Andrew Constance said.
“We want everyone to stop and think – think about how their behaviour on the roads impacts others, think about how they would feel if they lost a loved one and think about what they can do to help stop these deaths and injuries on our roads.
“We will do everything we can as a government by building safer roads and using technology to help keep people from harm. But at the end of the day we really need everyone to take personal responsibility.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said seeing 330 people gathered in one spot demonstrated the scale of human loss as well as the importance of making safe decisions on our roads.
“In NSW so far this year 217 people have died in regional areas. The really sobering fact is around 70 per cent of fatalities on country roads are country residents.
“It’s not visitors from out of town, it’s people who live in the area, who know the roads well and who often aren’t far from home when the worst thing happens,” Mr Elliott said.
Matthew Stubbs, a survivor of road trauma and a road safety ambassador, lost both his parents in a crash in 1993 when he was just five years old.
While Matthew and his brother David survived the crash, his youngest brother Jackson suffered permanent injuries and passed away at the age of 12.
“No one deserves to lose their life on our roads. Don’t take unnecessary risks. I am without parents and a brother and I would hate to see anyone else go through the same thing,” Mr Stubbs said.
NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, Commander of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, said all drivers need to play their part in keeping the road toll down.
“Despite the significant resources and community messaging that has been invested in road safety across the State, we continue to see concerning behaviours that contribute to road trauma.
“Police will continue to target those risky behaviours that impact on crashes, injuries and deaths on our roads, but we need you as the community to take personal responsibility and work with us.
“Every time someone gets behind the wheel, they need to think about how their actions could impact others. Don’t take a risk or make a decision that you may regret for life,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.