Cr Carol Taylor with representatives from Queensland Police Service and Queensland Ambulance Service

Zero deaths on Australian roads for just one day.

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has teamed up with key strategic road safety partners to promote Fatality Free Friday throughout the Toowoomba Region.

TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said road safety is a top priority of Council, and this year Fatality Free Friday goes online to help focus our community on reducing road trauma.

“This year we renew our pledge to raise awareness of road safety and work toward saving lives on our roads,” Mayor Antonio said.

“Fatality Free Friday shares our focus on collective and individual responsibilities for all road users – including pedestrians, cyclists, public transport passengers, motorcyclists and motorists – so we’re very proud to be supporting this initiative.

“We lose too many people, especially young people, to road crashes every year, and we must do everything we can do to improve this. It starts with every single one of us being aware of others.

“In addition to the heartache that comes from the loss of life that occurs on our roads, each year the Toowoomba Region road network incurs upwards of $73 million in financial and social costs due to traffic crashes.

“While the target is to have a fatality-free Friday, the campaign is more than just a single day.

“Ultimately we are aiming for a longer-term community change to ensure that every day is fatality-free across our country,” Mayor Antonio said.

TRC Infrastructure Service Group Chair, Cr Carol Taylor said there should never be an excuse to take risks on or around roads.

“New research carried out by the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) reveals that despite our roads being quieter during the Coronavirus, ‘One in four drivers (25%) admit to taking road risks since the implementation of Covid-19 lockdowns’,” Cr Taylor said.

“The research revealed that ‘Four in five Australians (78%) admit to breaking a road law’ and ‘A quarter of Australian drivers also admit to driving over the legal alcohol limit’.

Cr Taylor said Fatality Free Friday is an important day where Council joins forces with our partners ARSF, Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, Queensland Fire and Emergency Service, PCYC, Grand Central, Rotary (Youth Driver Awareness) and the Department of Transport and Main Roads to drive home the importance of road safety.

“Last year Council marked Fatality Free Friday by launching the Toowoomba Regional Council Road Safety Strategy 2019 – 2023,” Cr Taylor said.

“A year on and this important Strategy continues our commitment to the vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries within the Region.

“The 2019-2023 strategy serves as an action plan that helps Council and our key stakeholders and the community to participate in road safety across the Region actively.

“The Strategy aligns with National and State Road Safety Strategies and aims to reduce the number of all injury crashes by 12.5 per cent, reduce the amount of fatalities by 30 per cent and reduce the number of hospitalisations by 30 per cent over the five-year life of the Strategy.

“Some of the actions of the Strategy include developing safer transport networks by prioritising infrastructure upgrades on heavy vehicle routes and focussing on pedestrian safety through community education and better management of high pedestrian activity areas.

“In the last twelve months Council, together with our partners in road safety, has taken real action to help our community to be safer on the road. Some of these actions include

  • Completed the Umbirum Road Started and commenced construction of Perth and Cohoe Black Spot projects.
  • Working with the police to discuss road safety with heavy vehicle operators
  • Collaborating with the Department of Transport and Main Roads Road Safety team and Education Queensland to assist schools with parking signage for stop, drop and go zones.
  • We are working with the State Government to increase safety around schools in our Region.
  • Constructing a signalised pedestrian crossing in Pechey Street to assist vulnerable road users on the way to and from Toowoomba Hospital
  • Completed a speed limit review on sections of Meringandan Road resulting in a lower speed limit; and
  • Hosted an Active Transport Forum that included international guest speakers.

“We have come a long way over the past few years, but there is still so much more we can do to reduce the number of fatalities on our roads.

“As our Region continues to grow, so does the demand on our road network, and with more than 6,700 kilometres of sealed and unsealed roads, Council has a strategic approach to road safety across the Region.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility; it is up to every one of us to drive safely when we get behind the wheel.”

For more information about the Toowoomba Regional Council Road Safety Strategy 2019-2023, please go to www.tr.qld.gov.au/roadsafetystrat

#ChooseRoadSafety

BACKGROUND:

Fatality Free Friday is an Australian Road Safety Foundation community effort targeted to achieve a fatality-free Friday for one day across the whole country.

Since its inception in 2007, the campaign has continued to expand its operation and is recognised as Australia’s only national, community-based road safety program.

Statistically, the highest number of deaths occur on Australian roads on Fridays with 21 per cent of all road deaths occurring on Fridays.

The campaign is more than a single day. While the target is to have a fatality free Friday, ultimately it aims for longer-term community change in driver behaviour.

To date, more than 482,387 road safety pledges have been signed.

For more information about Fatality Free Friday please visit: https://arsf.com.au/fatality-free-friday-2/