2016 Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety Week is launched

Media Release

DC062/2016

01 May 2016

Today the Australian Government marks the launch of 2016 Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety week (NRSW).

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the annual event, first held in May 2012, had become an important milestone on the road safety calendar.

Mr Chester acknowledged the Principal Partners for safety week including: Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH), AAA, Road Safety Education Ltd; Altus Traffic Australia and state and territory Governments.

“The themes for this year's Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety week are “Drive So Others Survive!” and “Stop Driving Blind”—a call for drivers to avoid distractions while driving,” Mr Chester said.

“Road crashes affect far too many Australian families and communities, causing over 1200 deaths and over 30,000 serious injuries each year.”

“The Australian Government is working with states and territories to improve road safety, through the National Road Safety Strategy.

“The National Road Safety Strategy sets out a plan to reduce the annual numbers of both deaths and serious injuries on our roads by at least 30 per cent by 2020.

“A three year Action Plan was released in November 2014, to support delivery of the national strategy. The primary focus is on national efforts on activities that will deliver or support significant long-term improvements to the safety of Australia's road transport system.”

“Our long term vision is for a safe road transport system that does not cause death or serious injury, even when people make mistakes.”

Mr Chester said the work of SARAH Group, in particular President Peter Frazer, had been a positive influence in ensuring road safety remained at the forefront of people's minds.

“SARAH's main focus is protecting vulnerable road users, particularly emergency services personnel and first responders on roads and roadsides,” Mr Chester said.

“Although road crash deaths have been trending downwards over the past few years, there has been an increase over the last year.

“In the 12 months to the end of March 2016 there were 1,255 deaths on Australian roads.

“Any number of deaths is too many, and while we have seen a 12 per cent reduction from the strategy baseline period (2008–2010), the recent increase demonstrates the need for us to reaffirm our commitment and efforts towards achieving much greater reductions under the National Road Safety Strategy.

“We are making progress towards a safer road network and I am looking forward to seeing continued commitments by all governments to save lives.”

In Canberra, the following will be lit in yellow for National Road Safety Week, including: Old Parliament House, National Carillon, Questacon, The Royal Australian Mint, The National Archives, Albert Hall the Kings Avenue Bridge and Majura Parkway Overpass.

In addition major icons will also be lit from coast to coast, including: Parliament House, Gateway Bridges, Victoria Bridge, Brisbane City Council City Hall (Queensland), Parliament House and Bolte Bridge (Victoria), Gladesville Bridge (NSW), Adelaide Oval and Riverbank Bridge (South Australia), Features in Darwin Mall (NT), Perth City Building, Elizabeth Quay, Swan River Bell Tower (Western Australia).