Today sees the start of National Road Safety Week 2021, an initiative to highlight the far-reaching impact of trauma on our roads and importantly, encourage everyone to Drive So Others Survive.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack and Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz joined Peter Fraser from SARAH Group in Adelaide today to launch National Road Safety Week.
Mr McCormack said National Road Safety Week is an opportunity to honour and remember the 1,200 lives lost on our roads each year and the thousands who are seriously injured.
“At the start of every National Road Safety Week we reflect on the profound impact road crashes have on the community each and every year,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“This week brings us together to focus on how we can continue working on ensuring we get everyone home safely to their loved ones, every day, with no exceptions.
“It is only together, with each and every one of us playing a role, that we can save lives and prevent those serious injuries.
“The Australian Government is playing its part by working hard to move towards zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
“We continued to demonstrate this through the 2021-22 Federal Budget, which saw an additional $1 billion for the now $3 billion Road Safety Program, extending the Program to 2022-23.”
Mr McCormack said to date, the Road Safety Program has seen almost $1 billion delivered through Tranche 1 for around 700 road safety projects due for completion by June this year.
“These projects are delivering life-saving treatments to rural and regional roads, as well as protecting those most vulnerable in urban areas,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“I commend the work of Peter Frazer and the SARAH Group (Safer Australian Roads and Highways), who founded National Road Safety Week in 2013.
“SARAH’s main focus is protecting vulnerable road users, particularly emergency services personnel and first responders on roads and roadsides.
“Over the following week, each day will have its own theme that highlights a specific group who is especially vulnerable on our roads and highways.”
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said this week is a timely reminder that more needs to be done to prevent deaths on Australia roads.
“Road crashes cost the national economy approximately $30 billion a year, but this figure is far outstripped by the immeasurable suffering of families impacted by road deaths,” Assistant Minister Buchholz said.
“This year’s National Road Safety Week coincides with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week, a stark reminder that road safety is a global issue – with 1.35 million people killed and tens of millions more injured each year.
“It is critical that we work together, moving in the same direction to positively impact road safety outcomes.
“As a key event of the week, high profile landmarks will be lit up in yellow to remember those lost on our roads and to remind us to look after ourselves, our passengers and others on the roads.
“I encourage all Australians to get involved in this year’s National Road Safety Week and reflect on how they can play their part to champion road safety and help save lives on our roads.”
Other National Road Safety Week events include the display of yellow ribbons, an online pledge by drivers to promise to drive without distraction and community competitions to promote road safety.
For more information on National Road Safety Week and how to get involved, visit www.roadsafetyweek.com.au.
More information on Australian Government road safety initiatives is available at www.officeofroadsafety.gov.au.