For the sake of safety
COUNCILS on the coast are joining police and the NSW Government in calling on motorists to put safety first as they head off on holidays over the Easter long weekend.
Tragically, the long weekend claimed seven lives in NSW collisions last year.
In 2017, the annual road toll rose seeing 392 people lose their lives on the state's roads.
Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said there had been an alarming increase in the number of fatalities and serious injuries and of these fatalities 50 per cent and a further 54 per cent of serious injuries happened on local roads.
"Around 70 per cent of all the 2017 fatalities occurred on country roads, while a majority of serious injuries happened in metropolitan areas,” Cr Scott said.
"Analysis undertaken by the NSW Government found speeding was a factor in 42 per cent of all road fatalities, tiredness in 18 per cent, and drink-driving in 15 per cent.
And we all know how dangerous distraction while driving can be, like texting and other hands-on mobile use in the car.
"Local roads make up about 90 per cent of the entire state's road network and it's particularly important that all spheres of government - local, state and federal - work together to play their part in helping to drive down the road toll,” Cr Scott said.
"One death is one too many, and that is why NSW councils are standing shoulder to shoulder with police and other government agencies to play their part."
Clr Scott said the local government sector was already working with the NSW Government to support grassroots Towards Zero initiatives.
This included consultation around urban high-risk areas where speed limits may need to be changed, and the Government's Saving Lives on Country Roads Program, which involves safety infrastructure upgrades targeting high risk curves and key routes, including local roads.
"This fresh commitment to a partnership approach is particularly important, with life cycle cost to maintain and renew the roads and bridges network estimated at $1.527 billion per year.
"To date there has been a life-cycle funding gap of $447 million per year, which is where the maintenance backlog comes in.”