The NSW Government has released a new road safety plan which includes a range of measures aimed at improving infrastructure to enhance safety outcomes for drivers across the state.
The comprehensive package addresses speeding, drink driving, drug driving, driver distraction, driver fatigue, truck safety and funding to improve safety on country roads.
The Road Safety Plan will bring the government’s total commitment to targeted road safety programs from the Community Road Safety Fund to $1.4 billion over five years.
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey, said one of the biggest challenges remains on country roads, which accounted for almost 70 per cent of the state’s road toll last year.
“If you live in the country you are four times more likely to die in a road crash than if you live in metro NSW,” Ms Pavey said.
“This is why we will roll out 1600km of rumble strips and 300km in targeted safety works, such as flexible, wire-rope barriers to help prevent run-off-road and head-on crashes on our road network, including the Princes Highway.”
Roads Australia welcomed the focus on road infrastructure improvements in the new road safety plan.
Roads Australia President, David Stuart-Watt, said, “Making road infrastructure safer is obviously a cornerstone of a successful Safe Systems approach to road safety, so it’s very pleasing to see the NSW Government targeting high risk regional roads in particular.
“Relatively small, low-cost improvements – be they realigning of dangerous curves, installation of barriers or improvements to line-marking – can make a significant difference.
“Combined with strategies to address driver behaviour through education and enforcement, targeted funding for infrastructure improvements is a welcome response by the NSW Government to the state’s rising road toll.”
Mr Stuart-Watt said safety was ‘top of mind’ for road designers and builders.
“Our industry is always looking at how we can improve road safety through better design, materials and technologies.
“We continue to work closely with our clients, including governments, to mitigate the risks associated with new and existing road infrastructure.”