Usually AFL teams are competing with each other but, on this occasion, Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants are working together for road safety. NSW Centre for Road Safety has signed them up again to raise awareness of mobile phone distraction and driver fatigue.
Get your hand off it
The Swans will support the Get your hand off it campaign against using mobile phones while driving. The Giants will get behind Test Your Tired Self, an online game designed to help combat driver fatigue.
Spokesman for the Centre, Bernard Carlon, is pleased with the partnership because the Swans and Giants are “outstanding role models in the community”.
Mobile phone distraction is a growing problem, not only for people driving but for pedestrians too. Given the risks of distraction, mobile phone use while driving carries a penalty of $319 and 4 demerit points. There are even double demerits during holiday times.
Sydney Swans MD, Andrew Ireland, says “during a match, a tiny lapse in concentration can cost you points but on the road, it can cost lives”.
With each 10 kmh increase in speed, your vehicle can travel that much further in 2 seconds. If you look away for 2 seconds to send a text, you can travel nearly 28 metres at the fairly low speed of 50 kmh.
| Metres Travelled
in 2 Seconds
Driver fatigue is the second biggest killer on NSW roads after speeding.
Many drivers do not even realise they are tired when they get behind the wheel. The Test Your Tired Self game is primarily aimed at young male drivers. But anybody can go online to see how tired they are before they drive. In fact, it can show some surprising results.
David Matthews, CEO of the Giants, says “some people think driver fatigue is only an issue on country roads but around half of fatigue-related fatal crashes happen in urban areas”.
Another NSW road safety campaign is Safety Town. This program is designed to make it safer for children travelling to and from school. AFL players Adam Goodes and Callan Ward are involved with promoting this one.
The NSW government wants to see a 30% reduction in deaths on the road by 2021 and these road safety campaigns are steps towards that goal.