Federal and NSW government collaborate on road safety forum

The forum aims to tackle the issue of increasing fatalities on our roads, with a strong focus on regional road safety

The federal and NSW government have teamed up to introduce a new road safety forum, scheduled for February 22.

For the first time in NSW history, international and Australian road safety experts, advocates, academics and road traffic victims, together with federal and state stakeholders will be bought together to tackle the issue of increasing fatalities on our roads.

“The road toll has increased across Australia and many parts of the world after COVID,” NSW roads minister John Graham says.

“This forum is an opportunity to hear from experts who have had some success in reducing the road toll and identify new measures and actions from the Road Safety Plan that can be accelerated.”

The forum will take advice from Scandinavian countries that have succeeded in reducing road fatalities over the past 20 years.

There will be a particular focus on regional road fatality prevention, with two thirds of NSW’s road fatalities taking place in regional urban centres.

“While one third of our population lives in regional NSW, more than 70 per cent of fatalities occur on our regional roads,” NSW regional roads minister Jenny Aitchison says.

“I hope regional leaders will participate in the forum to share their experiences and work with the government to find solutions to road safety issues.”

Federal infrastructure and transport assistant minister Carol Brown will be on hand to provide a federal perspective.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility – from local, state and territory governments as well as the federal government and individual road users,” Brown says.

“I look forward to the discussions had at the forum and how the outcomes can be carried through to the National Road Safety Conference shortly after.”

The NSW government says that it’s keen to increase cooperation between states and territories on the road toll, with NSW opposition and members of the crossbench also invited to be part of the forum.

The NSW government has been active in introducing new road safety measures, including the use of mobile phone detection cameras (MPDC). The cameras are set to begin enforcing seatbelt use this year.

More than 1.3 million NSW drivers remain eligible to have a demerit point removed from their license when the first 12 months of the MPDC trial ends on January 17.

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