NSW to host road safety forum

New South Wales is set to host international and Australian road safety experts, advocates, academics and road traffic victims, together with federal and state stakeholders at a road safety forum.

The forum, scheduled for February 22, will be the first time in NSW history experts from across the globe will be bought together to tackle the issue of increasing fatalities on our roads.

One of the key international delegations will come from across Scandinavian nations. where road fatalities have successfully been reduced over the past two decades.

Since COVID, a concerning trend has emerged across the nation with road tolls on the rise, with reduced road traffic during the pandemic not resulting in a proportionate decline in accidents, as outlined by Monash University’s Accident Research Centre.

The forum will also have a strong focus on regional road safety given regional areas account for two thirds of road population despite being home to just a third of the population.

Transport for NSW will host this important event, and in an important sign of collaboration, members of the crossbench and opposition will be invited.

NSW Minister for Roads John Graham said the challenge to reduce the road toll involved a diverse range of stakeholders and collaboration.

“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,” Mr Graham said.

“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.”

Minister for Regional Roads Jenny Aitchison said the forum will provide an opportunity to place regional voices front and centre.

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

“We all need to take responsibility for our actions when it comes to road safety. We need community involvement, particularly in the regions, if the Government’s road safety initiatives are to succeed.

“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 include discussion of how we can strengthen road safety enforcement and tackle unsafe road user behaviour.”

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