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Media Release


603 White crosses to commemorate NSW road deaths

Tuesday 2 January 2001
Venue: Hyde Park War Memorial at 2:00 PM – Tuesday 2 January 2001

Quoting from the STAYSAFE Report 47 (1998), the Chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA), Mr Harold Scruby said: "The STAYSAFE Committee was particularly surprised at the admission by senior Government road safety officials that they were likely to fail to achieve the Premier’s year 2000 road safety targets. In 1995, the Premier committed his Government to achieving road trauma targets of fewer than 500 deaths and fewer than 5,500 serious injuries by the year 2000. The Minister for Roads has endorsed these targets as part of the Road Safety 2000 strategy."

"The NSW Road Toll for 2000 was 603 – 26 more than for 1999 and over 20% greater than the Premier’s commitment. To put these appalling statistics in perspective, 502 Australians were killed in Vietnam during Australia’s 12 years involvement in that war, 100 fewer than for one year on NSW roads. And our Christmas holiday Road Toll was double all other states and territories combined.

In 2000 the NSW Government presided over the best Olympic Games ever and a Road Toll approaching Third World levels. Human life is far more important than sport. We must get our priorities right. If we can deliver the best Olympics ever, we can also deliver the world’s best Road Safety programs," Mr Scruby added.

"At 2:00 PM on Tuesday 2 January 2001, the PCA, in conjunction with Cyclists for a Better Sydney, will plant 603 white crosses in front of the War Memorial in Hyde Park to remember those 603 people who died on NSW roads during 2000 and to remind the authorities that their Road Safety programs have failed and we need a different approach’, Mr Scruby said:

"We will be calling on the NSW Government to consider the following initiatives:

1 To call an urgent top-level Road Safety Summit
2 To make Road Safety the responsibility of the NSW Parliament and its Number One Priority (we must fight road trauma as we would a war)
3 To form a Ministerial Road Safety Council based on the WA model, comprising independent Road Safety experts, reporting directly to all responsible Ministers and the Parliament, in order that creative and innovative ideas can reach those responsible swiftly, unfettered by politics and bureaucracies.
4 To consider emulating the Swedish Parliament’s "Vision Zero" model - a revolutionary program aimed at reducing road deaths to zero.

Contact: Harold Scruby – Chairman/CEO (0418) 110-011 or (02) 9968-4555

PEDESTRIAN COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED - ABN 18 075 106 286 - P0 BOX 500 NEUTRAL BAY NSW 2089

Email: walking@walk.com.au - Internet: www.walk.com.au - Fax (02) 9968-4566 - Phone (02) 9968-4544