News, Opinion

Be a Road Safety Warrior

On May 16, Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety Week will launch in Adelaide with Hon Vincent Tarzia MP, Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, hosting the launch event on behalf of the South Australian Government.

Then throughout next week, each day will have its own theme that highlights a group that is especially vulnerable on our roads and highways. As we focus on actively protecting those who are vulnerable, we ask you to pledge to ‘Drive So Others Survive!’

I am proud that we have been able to create this weeklong focus on preventing death and serious injury on our roads and I am honoured that we now have the Commonwealth and every State and Territory behind us.

I am so grateful for each organisation that supports our campaigns because like us, they recognise that everyone has a right to get home safe to their loved ones, every day, no exceptions!

Yet despite this, National Road Safety Week still fills me with sadness because we created it out of a circumstance every person fears: the loss of a loved one in a road crash. We started our Yellow Ribbon initiatives just three months after my beautiful daughter Sarah was horrifically killed by a distracted driver in a completely avoidable crash on the Hume Freeway in NSW. My daughter’s life mattered, just as the lives of everyone you love matter.

My heart is broken every single day and I don’t want this happening to others. Too many of our fellow Australians have been killed and seriously injured on our roads and truckies see this more than most.

How is it that around 1200 people are killed and over 40,000 seriously injured each year and yet this tragedy is still seen as a regrettable but normal situation?

The trouble is that with so many fatalities and serious injuries occurring, our community often overlooks the fact that these crashes should never have happened. This situation is exacerbated because drivers hide behind their anonymity, deciding to drive aggressively, putting other people’s lives at risk.

I have been working closely with trucking and logistics companies for the past nine years and while there are those drivers who do endanger innocent lives, I know the vast majority do the right thing.

So you can imagine how excited I get when I see a truckie with one of our Yellow Ribbons on his cab and a Yellow Ribbon ‘Drive So Others Survive!’ reflective sticker on the rear of the truck.

That truckie is making a public statement and showing he/she is a Road Safety Champion. That truckie is protecting all our families by putting everyone’s safety first. That truckie is a Road Safety Warrior.

So, I am asking you to become a Road Safety Warrior. I want you to not only show your support for this campaign but to ask yourself how you can actively publicly lead the initiative. Here are a few practical things to start with: 

1. If you don’t have one already, get your Yellow Ribbon/sticker on your truck and display it all year round.

2. Take the Road Safety pledge at roadsafetyweek.com.au and encourage your family, friends and colleagues to do the same.

3. Our road warriors don’t drive anonymous and because they are exemplary drivers, they aren’t afraid to put their work and contact details on the back of their truck.

4. Underneath your work and contact details, write the following statement: “I’m a Road Safety Warrior and I Drive So Others Survive!”

To find out how you can support the work of Sarahgroup as a truck driver or as an organisation, please visit roadsafetyweek.com.au or follow National Road Safety Week on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram.

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