The nationwide Fatality-Free Friday campaign 2015 was launched on May 1 in Sydney.
With the ultimate aim to reduce the road user death toll to zero, the campaign is recognised as Australia’s only national community-based road safety program.
Acting General Manager Centre for Road Safety Evan Walker requested people join in and take the pledge.
“We’re launching the 2015 Fatality-Free Friday campaign – a national event to help us remember that road safety is in our hands,” he added.
How does it work?
This year’s Fatality-Free Friday will fall on May 29. Australians can take the pledge to be safe on the day by signing up online and at “pop-up pledge activations” at various spots in the country.
The pledgers promise to be safe on the roads and also remind their family, friends and colleagues to be mindful on the day.
Events have been planned throughout the month and will take place across the nation to raise awareness about road safety.
“It’s all about making a conscious effort to be safer on our roads, by doing things like sticking to the speed limit, driving to the conditions, keeping your hand off your phone, having enough rest before getting behind the wheel and lining up your Plan B if you’re having a few drinks,” summarised Mr Walker.
He added that the campaign is about helping people to take responsibility.
“Fatality-Free Friday is a good reminder that even with the safest cars, most advanced roads and best public education campaigns, road safety is ultimately in your hands.”
What is the Fatality-Free campaign?
The initiative is run by the Australian Road Safety Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation created to improve road safety across the country.
The campaign was launched in 2007 and although it targets a single day of the month for zero road deaths, the scope is much broader than that. The end goal is to achieve long-term community change.
According to the foundation’s website, 101,005 road safety pledges have been signed so far.
“In addition we have been inundated with hard copies from around the country, so keep referring back to our website to see how many pledges have been taken,” said the foundation.
Backing the campaign are Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Services and various local councils. Representatives from these bodies will be present at shopping centres and community events, encouraging NSW residents to take the pledge.
How serious is the road safety issue?
According to Mr Walker the NSW community alone pays around $5 billion each year due to road trauma.
NSW Transport figures indicate the toll for April alone was 24. Last year this number was 18 for the month. In the past 12 months there have been a total of 311 road fatalities in the state.
Statistics also show that the No. 1 killer on NSW roads is speeding, followed by fatigue, drink-driving, and not wearing a proper restraint. In fact Speed contributed to about 40 per cent of road fatalities last year.
In the period between 2008 and 2012, around 818 people died as a result of road accidents and more than 4,100 people were injured each year.
In addition to saving lives, careful driving could also see a reduction in the number of claims resulting from accidents. This will also result in lower comprehensive and CTP green slip insurance premiums.