Media Release

Road Toll - Massacre

Thursday 28 December 2000
PCA Calls on Premier Carr to Immediately Create Ministerial Road Safety Council and Calls on NSW Parliament to Emulate Swedish "Vision Zero" Program

In the wake of the worst Road Toll in 5 years, which is likely to see the NSW Road Toll reach 600, the Chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia (PCA), Mr Harold Scruby, today pleaded with Premier Bob Carr to adopt two bold and radical plans to reduce the staggering number of deaths and injuries on our roads.

Mr Scruby quoted from the STAYSAFE Report 47 (1998), excerpts attached, which state: "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."

Mr Scruby said: "Clearly, at 600 deaths we are heading towards Third World Road Toll statistics. NSW Road Safety strategies have been an utter failure. Chemotherapy is out and radical surgery must take its place if we are to make any significant progress.

"Eighteen months ago, we wrote to Mr Scully, copy of letter attached, calling for the implementation of the Ministerial Road Safety Council. Our reasons are explained therein. An independent Council, made up of Road Safety experts, reporting directly to the all responsible Ministers and the Parliament is the only way creative ideas can reach the decision makers, without bureaucratic entanglement and interference.

"We also believe the NSW Parliament, as a whole, should vote to make Road Safety a "whole of Parliament" initiative, as they have done in Sweden, with the adoption of their "Vision Zero" program, which aims to have NO deaths on Swedish roads. Safety is the first priority in every decision and it ALWAYS precedes commerce and vested interests.

"We beg Premier Carr to show the same leadership displayed in staging the best Olympics ever and to call an urgent Summit of all stakeholders in early January to find ways of fulfilling his promise of making NSW the Safest Roads in the World, as soon as humanly possible," Mr Scruby said.

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


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