6 May 2024

Canberrans urged to 'ensure every journey ends safely' this National Road Safety Week

| Claire Fenwicke
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police vehicles with National Road Safety Week ribbons

All road users have been urged to ensure everyone’s journey is a safe one this National Road Safety Week. Photo: ACT Policing.

Four people have been killed on Canberra’s roads already this year – four lives with friends and family mourning an empty seat at the table.

All motorists have been urged to be extra vigilant while driving around the Territory this National Road Safety Week and to pledge to drive so others survive.

“Too many people are killed or seriously injured on our roads, and we can all play a role in reducing road trauma and making our roads safer,” Transport Minister Chris Steel said.

“Make sure you don’t speed, wear a seatbelt, don’t drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drive to the conditions, leave your phone alone and look out for vulnerable road users.”

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Canberra’s 2024 road deaths have been marred by preventable tragedies. But there have also been a number of serious crashes, leaving people with life-changing and sometimes permanent injuries.

Every year, more than 1200 people are killed and another 40,000 seriously injured on roads across the country.

National Road Safety Week founder Peter Frazer labelled the deaths and injuries a “true pandemic”, but everyone could help change the story.

“Road safety starts at a local level, which is captured in this year’s theme of ‘All road safety is local’,” he said.

“National Road Safety Week is about bringing communities together, tackling road trauma and shaping the future of our roads by working to collectively change attitudes and behaviours.

“Let’s hold each other accountable and ensure every journey ends safely.”

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The week of action also serves as a warning for motorists doing the wrong thing on Canberra’s roads as the ACT Government progresses with reforms to make our roads safer.

ACT Policing has already been given new powers to immediately suspend licenses of people caught going more than 45 kilometres over the speed limit and impounding their cars.

Minister Steel said more changes were on the way.

“Next week, we’ll be debating and passing further reforms by increasing maximum penalties for drivers who shouldn’t be on our roads, with immediate license suspension for drink and drug driving and on-the-spot fines for drink drivers,” he said.

“To support our legislation changes and ACT Policing’s enforcement activities, we will continue to deliver major road safety campaigns that aim to educate, raise awareness and encourage behaviour change within our community.”

Canberrans will see a number of structures, including Malcolm Fraser Bridge, City Foundation and light rail stops, lit up in yellow throughout the week.

To take the pledge to drive so others survive, visit the National Road Safety Week website.

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