Member for Murray Austin Evans said the NSW Government’s Road Safety Plan, which includes a range of measures is aimed at reducing the road toll after 392 people lost their lives on NSW roads in 2017.
Mr Evans said the comprehensive package addresses speeding, drink driving, drug driving, driver distraction, driver fatigue, truck safety and funding to improve safety on country roads.
“The Road Safety Plan is a concerted effort to save lives by making sure roads and vehicles are as safe as possible,” Mr Evans said.
“Every 41 minutes in NSW someone is either killed or seriously injured on our roads, leaving families and friends with the heartache,” Mr Evans said.
“As a Government we know we can do more and that is why this Plan makes it clear if you break the law you will be caught and will pay the price.
“We also want to ensure that our public education campaigns are targeted in the right way.”
The measures announced include:
- Expanding the mandatory alcohol interlock program to include all mid-range drink driving offenders. An interlock is a breath testing device fitted to a car’s ignition system. The driver must provide a negative sample for the vehicle to start;
- Police will be given the power to issue on the spot fines and licence suspensions for low range drink driving. This ensures swift and certain penalties;
- Amending legislation to allow camera technology to be used to enforce mobile phone offences;
- 11 additional heavy vehicle average speed camera locations, including in metropolitan Sydney, to address risks associated with greater truck movements;
- An initial $125 million for a new Saving Lives on Country Roads program including safety barriers, tactile line markings, wide centre line, safety upgrades of high risk curves and $11 million for pedestrian and cyclist safety improvements including traffic calming measures, pedestrian refuges and crossings to keep cyclists and walkers safe.
These measures are in addition to last month’s crack down on drug drivers, which saw cocaine added to the list of drugs subject to roadside testing, and the number of roadside drugs tests doubled from 100,000 a year to 200,000 a year by 2020.
The Road Safety Plan will bring the Government’s total commitment to targeted road safety programs from the Community Road Safety Fund to $1.4 billion over five years.
One of the biggest challenges remains on country roads, which accounted for almost 70 per cent of the State’s road toll last year.
“If you live in the country you are four times more likely to die in a road crash than if you live in metro NSW,” Mr Evans said.
The Road Safety Plan includes a number of key initiatives for immediate implementation as well as a number of other key measures that will be subject to review and consultation.
A review into driving on prescription drugs has been requested by April and the NSW Sentencing Council will be tasked with reporting back on sentencing of repeat traffic offenders who may pose an ongoing risk to the community.
The initiatives announced today are in addition to ongoing programs, including our Safer Roads infrastructure program, safety around schools and mandatory road safety education for every child in NSW.