Complacency on Vic roads decreasing safety

Monday, 15 May, 2017

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New data shows that irresponsible driving and complacency from passengers is rife among Victorian road users.

Research released by the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) prior to its Fatality Free Friday initiative shows that more than half of Victorians do not ask speeding friends or family members to slow down on the road.

In addition, 52% of Victorians riding with a texting taxi, UBER or professional driver will not ask them to put their phone away.

While one in 10 of these passengers said it was because they were too afraid to say something, an additional 6% reported that they “could not be bothered” speaking to the driver.

ARSF founder and CEO Russell White said that reducing the tragic loss of life on the roads must stem from peer pressure and not just from authorities dictating road laws.

“We need to create a culture where we call each other out on bad behaviour behind the wheel, instead of shuffling the responsibility onto others,” White said.

“That’s what our Fatality Free Friday initiative is all about — educating road users on the individual role they play in reducing the devastating impact of road crashes.

“Obviously nobody goes out looking to be in a road crash, but not everyone goes out deliberately looking to avoid one either, and that is evident every time someone speeds, takes a risk on the road or uses their mobile phone.”

The data reveals that one in five Victorians narrowly avoid a car crash at least once a month, higher than the national average (20%), while 8% of drivers said they experienced close calls on a weekly basis.

The new data comes as the ARSF launches its Victorian campaign to gather safety pledges ahead of Fatality Free Friday, the nation’s largest community-based road safety initiative, which this year falls on 26 May.

Caltex, the founding partner of Fatality Free Friday, continues to work to reduce the devastating impact of road trauma through its support of ARSF and reinforcement of its key messages.

The company will help the ARSF launch its Victorian Fatality Free Friday crusade with the opening of a new entry point to their Newport Terminal, a feature of the $75 million upgrade, which will create safer driving conditions in the community.

Caltex’s terminal upgrade includes a new entrance that allows heavy vehicles to manoeuvre clear of a known, local blackspot. The new entrance enables traffic to flow freely along busy Douglas Parade, significantly improving road safety in the area on a street that carries more than 11,000 vehicles per day.

Held annually on the last Friday in May since its inception in 2007, Fatality Free Friday has garnered support from hundreds of thousands of Australians, who have taken the road safety pledge, either in person at one of the many public signing events across the country or online.

Photo caption: Frank Boys, Caltex’s acting EGM Supply Operations, with the Michelin Man at the ribbon cutting ceremony for new entry point for Caltex’s Newport Terminal and Fatality Free Friday awareness event.

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