Today, the NSW Government has reaffirmed its commitment to improving safety on the state’s roads with the release of its Road Safety Action Plan 2021.
With the government reaching the halfway mark of the NSW Road Safety Strategy 2012-2021, the new plan was developed to set out new priorities to help reach the target of reducing road fatalities by 30 per cent by 2021.
The plan is also consistent with the state’s Towards Zero vision within Future Transport 2056, which aims to have a NSW transport network with zero trauma by 2056.
Bicycle Network was part of the Towards Zero focus groups held to ensure that the plans incorporated the needs of people who ride bikes.
With 70% of all road fatalities occurring on country roads, the plan rightly focuses its attention on reducing the risk for all road users in these environments.
The plan also emphasises that more must be done to protect our most vulnerable road users – people who ride bikes and people who walk.
While bike rider deaths make up two per cent of total road fatalities, they make up 16 per cent of all serious injuries incurred on NSW roads.
The priorities outlined in the plan are consistent with Bicycle Network’s ongoing campaigns to see slower speeds, smarter and separated road design, traffic calmed streets, supportive legislation and safer heavy vehicle technologies.
Other key initiatives of the plan include:
- Install pedestrian crossings, refuges and traffic calming devices, as well as expanding 40km/h zones in high pedestrian and local areas. (Read more to see why Bicycle Network is campaigning for 30km/h speed limits)
- Explore options to expand accelerate safety upgrades through the Safer Roads Program
- Maximise safety integration in bicycle network programs to facilitate safer movement, provide separation from other traffic, where appropriate, and manage vehicle speeds
- Tackle drink/drug driving behaviour and speeding through greater penalities and enforcement
- Work with the heavy vehicle industry to develop a new heavy vehicle strategy to improve operational safety and increase the uptake of safety technology. (Read more about our campaign to reduce truck blind spots)
Too many people continue to die on our roads and it's great to see the NSW Government reassess and reprioritise actions while taking a multifaceted approach to saving lives.
However, we know that transformative change will only come if the plan is accompanied with the necessary levels of investment and commitment from all levels of government.
We look forward to working with the NSW Government to implement the plan and help reduce risk while making it easier for more people to ride bikes in NSW.
Please note - Bicycle Network is also currently doing its own report on cycling fatalities over the past 20 years which will be released shortly — watch this space!
This summer was a tragic time for too many on our roads. We’re introducing a comprehensive Road Safety Action Plan to keep people safe on our NSW roads. https://t.co/VVQOyh2k1r pic.twitter.com/LgHUXpzXGx
— Gladys Berejiklian (@GladysB) February 6, 2018