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FATALITY FREE FRIDAY PURSUES NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY RECORD

2013 campaign calls for 1,400 road safety pledges per day in honour of the average number of lives lost on Australian roads each year

Last year over 1,300 men, women and children lost their lives on Australian roads – a largely preventable number that sadly increased from the year before1.

This year alone, 305 people have died on Australian roads, a figure once again higher than the same period the year prior.2

On Fatality Free Friday, taking place May 31, the Australian Road Safety Foundation is aiming for another memorable number – ZERO. Not one life lost on Australian roads for just one day.

As the largest community-based road safety awareness day, Fatality Free Friday calls for road users to take the pledge – a promise to oneself, family and friends to consciously exercise road safely and obey road rules.

While a single Friday free of any fatalities is the ultimate goal, the day operates on the belief that if drivers actively concentrate on safety for that one day, they’ll drive safer for the next few days and over time, change their outlook behind the wheel completely.

Last year five states and territories recorded zero road deaths on Fatality Free Friday but tragically lives were still lost.

Australian Road Safety Foundation CEO Russell White comments:

“This is the year to achieve zero, but we need individual motorists to recognise the critical role they play and to take responsibility to educate friends, family and loved ones in the lead up to Fatality Free Friday.

“This year, to help create awareness, we’re calling for 1,400 individual road safety pledges each day throughout the month of May; a figure symbolic of the average number of lives lost on Australian roads each year,” he says.

The pledge call to action offers the Australian public a simple way to demonstrate their support for safer roads via various online tools. 1,400 pledges per day throughout the month of May would represent the record number of pledges in the history of Fatality Free Friday.

Mr White adds: “It isn’t that drivers go out purposely looking for an accident, it’s that they don’t actively look to avoid one either. What we’re asking for on Fatality Free Friday is simple – slow down, stay off the phone, stick to the road rules and possibly save someone’s valuable life. It’s everyone’s responsibility.”

1 Australia Government, Department of Infrastructure and Transport Road Deaths Australia January 2013 Reporthttp://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/rda/files/RDA 0113.pdf

2Australian Government, Department of Infrastructure and Transport Road Deaths Australia March 2013 Report http://www.bitre.gov.au/publications/ongoing/rda/files/RDA_0313.pdf

 

 

Reaching thousands of road users across the country, the annual road safety campaign also takes to the streets of Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in a series of events and community engagement initiatives aimed at uniting motorists in the national call to action.

This year, the message is also online. In the lead up to Fatality Free Friday on May 31 – people can make the road safety pledge via the Fatality Free Facebook Pledge Page (http://on.fb.me/YnImIO) or website http://fatalityfreefriday.com/.

Road users can show support by sharing their Facebook pledge on their wall or joining us on Twitter @AusRoadSafety and using the conversation hashtag #FFFpledge.

Fatality Free Friday: Focus for 2013

Each year, the Australian Road Safety Foundation utilise the public platform to highlight

a single prevalent road safety issue – this year’s initiative is focused on road safety at rail

ENDS

crossings.

There are approximately 100 rail crossing collisions recorded across the country each year, tragically equating to 37 fatalities.1 Almost half (46%) of these crashes are the result of motor vehicle driver error including driver distraction and failing to notice warning signs, not being aware of oncoming rail traffic and taking rail risks1.

The Australian Road Safety Foundation urges drivers not to gamble with their lives at level crossings and offers the following road safety checklist:

  1. Signs of life: Pay attention to the signs and symbols
  2. Risky business: if the red lights are flashing or the boom gates are down, don’t risk it
  3. Avoid the hangover: Be sure not to hang over the tracks, or queue across them
  4. Think twice: Keep an eye out for the second train
  5. Bare crossings: Some level crossings don’t have lights or boom gates, be sure to follow the signs and signals before driving on

 

Fatality Free Friday is sponsored by Caltex, Suncorp Insurance, Monroe Shock Absorbers, Queensland Government and Queensland Rail.