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Make a pledge to keep others safe on raods

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Make a pledge to keep others safe on raods

One grieving family’s love for their lost daughter is behind our National Road Safety Week campaign. WORDS: Caitlin Zerafa.

National Road Safety Week (NRSW) is upon us. This is a campaign designed to raise awareness about road safety issues, highlight the impact of accident trauma, and how we can create a safer environment for all.

Running from May 5 to 12, the week asks the community to make a pledge to: “Drive so others survive”.

A total of 87 people have died on Queensland roads so far in 2024, with seven of those in the North Coast region that includes the Sunshine Coast.

Data from the Department of Transport and Main Roads reveals 16 more fatalities (or 22.5 per cent) between January 1 and April 21 this year than for the same period the previous year. The toll is 13 lives (or 17.9 per cent) greater than the previous five-year average for the same period.

Across Australia, it is estimated 1200 people lose their lives and another 44,000 are seriously injured on the country’s roads. So far, in the 12 months to March 31, Australia has recorded 1286 deaths: an

8.2 per cent increase (up from 1188).

NRSW is an annual initiative from the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group, partnering with road safety organisations and government.

Founder Peter Frazer began the initiative after losing his daughter Sarah in an avoidable crash on the Hume Highway in NSW in 2012.

His daughter had pulled over when the radiator in her car blew. A tow truck driver was on the scene assisting her. Both were killed by a distracted driver.

Wanting to do something in Sarah’s memory, the family began campaigning for road safety.

“Everyone has a right to get home safe to their loved ones, every day without exceptions,” Mr Frazer says.

“I’m just a grieving dad who’s trying to make a difference so that other families don’t have to go through what my family suffers every single day.

“We created Road Safety Week in 2012, which became National Road Safety Week the following year.

“We need to take that shared responsibility and say we’re going to actively look after all those on the road ahead.”

Mr Frazer says so many crashes around Australia are a result of drivers “not doing the right thing” with distraction, speed, fatigue and driving under the influence continuing to play a major role in fatalities.

“If we take some really basic actions, then we can get everyone home safe,” Mr Frazer says.

“Since my own beautiful daughter died, more than 13,000 Australians have been killed and more than 400,000 have been seriously injured.

“We’ve got to start doing something about this, and National Road Safety Week

is one of the mechanisms that can bring to attention why we need to actively look after each other.

“When you see yellow ribbon stickers on the back of vehicle, let’s pledge to do the right thing.”

More than 6000 Australians have already pledged to NRSW, which is themed around driving as if loved ones are on the road ahead.

Drivers pledge to remove distractions and never use a mobile phone when driving, and not put other people at risk by speeding, driving while tired or under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

NRSW also includes daily themes which encourage people to think about road safety and how they can ensure they arrive at their destination safely.

During the week, residents are encouraged to wear a yellow ribbon in support of those who are impacted by

road crashes.

Visit roadsafetyweek.com.au for more information and to make a pledge.

2024 NRSW Daily Themes

  • May 5: Remember the 1200 Australian lives lost each year.
  • May 6: Make your road safety pledge.
  • May 7: Road safety for young drivers and the next generation.
  • May 8: How we can protect those who protect and assist us (for example, roadside assistance).
  • May 9: How safe is my ride? Emphasizing regularly servicing your vehicle.
  • May 10: Avoiding driver distraction.
  • May 11: Share the street – being safe around all road users.
  • May 12: Taking care on regional roads.

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