Upcoming forum to focus on what can be done to prevent regional road fatalities

With the rising number of deaths on our roads, the NSW Government will hold a road safety forum next month to discuss what can be done to help reduce the increasing road toll.

In 2023, there were 1266 people killed on Australian roads, a 7.3 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

The road safety forum, being held in Sydney on Thursday February 22, hosted by Transport for NSW, will place a particular focus on preventing regional road fatalities.

Though only a third of NSW’s population resides in regional areas, two thirds of the state’s road fatalities have taken place in the regions, including urban centres in regional areas.

“I have been out in the far north-west of regional, rural and remote NSW this week hearing directly from those communities about the road toll,” said Minister for Regional Roads Minister Jenny Aitchison.

“Any death on a road is one too many but for regional communities where everyone knows everyone, it hits particularly hard.

“I hope regional leaders will participate in the forum to share their experiences and work with the government to find solutions to road safety issues.”

The forum will bring together international and Australian road safety experts, advocates for motorists and road traffic victims, academics, as well as federal and state stakeholders – taking advice from Scandinavian countries that have succeeded in reducing road fatalities over the last 20 years.

“The road toll has increased across Australia and many parts of the world after Covid. This forum is an opportunity to hear from experts who have had some success in reducing the road toll and identify new measures and actions from the Road Safety Plan that could be accelerated,” said Minister for Roads John Graham.

“In 2023, NSW experienced the tragic loss of 351 lives on our roads. The NSW Government is issuing a resounding call for every individual to make safe driving a resolution in 2024.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility that requires the collective efforts of government agencies, communities, and individuals. The forum will provide a platform to discuss new actions to save lives.”

Among the road safety measures to be recently implemented across NSW is the use of mobile phone detection cameras that will this year begin enforcing the use of seatbelts.

The government has also implemented the demerit point scheme, with over 1.3 million NSW drivers still eligible to have a demerit point removed from their licence when the first 12 months of the trial ends on January 17 if they maintain a spotless record for a year.

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