COUNCIL LAUNCHES DRIVING TO THE CONDITIONS COUNTRY ROAD SAFETY PROJECT
In an effort to reduce crashes and road trauma in the area, Griffith City Council has launched a road safety project that seeks to raise awareness among local drivers of the unpredictability of rural road conditions.
The Driving to the Conditions on Country Roads project will focus on driver behaviour and target drivers that live within the community who have a tendency to become complacent with rural road conditions because of their frequent use.
Research has shown that for the five year period ending December 2017, 42 of the 57 recorded non-urban crashes in the Griffith Local Government Area (LGA), where someone was either killed or sustained serious injuries, involved drivers that actually resided within the LGA. In comparison, just 26 per cent of those crashes involved drivers who lived elsewhere.
Council’s Road Safety and Traffic Officer Greg Balind has expressed concern in relation to the figures particularly when younger road users are still significantly overrepresented in crashes on our rural roads.
“Statistics indicate almost half of the crashes recorded across the LGA’s rural roads involved local residents aged in the 17 to 29 year demographic, with more than three quarters being young men,” Mr Balind said.
“That just goes to show that although you may be familiar with the road, there are many factors which must be taken into consideration to ensure you and other road users remain safe.”
Member for Murray Austin Evans, has also provided his support for the project and is pleading with local people to be vigilant on rural roads as conditions can change without notice.
“Country roads present unique challenges including changes in surface conditions, the unpredictable nature of wildlife and many other roadside hazards,” Mr Evans said.
“I urge all country road users to be extra cautious and prepare for the unexpected when driving in rural areas.
Mr Evans said, although a driver may have travelled across the region’s roads countless times, statistics show that it is local people crashing on local roads.
“Sadly a combination of ‘knowing the road’ and being over confident when driving could easily result in a tragedy occurring,” Mr Evans said.
“So when it comes to travelling on country roads the message is simple, make appropriate choices, drive in a manner and at a speed appropriate to the conditions, and be prepared to expect the unexpected.”
Statistics for the entire Griffith LGA (urban and non-urban) over the 5 year period ending December 2017 showed:
- 122 crashes were recorded resulting in 124 people being seriously injured and 11 people being killed
- 92 (75%) of all crashes involved people who reside within the Griffith LGA
- Almost half of the reported crashes involved single vehicles leaving the road (run-off road crashes) and rolling or impacting with another object