Towards Zero with record road safety budget
The 2016-17 NSW Budget includes record road safety funding, with more than $309 million to be invested in tackling the increasing road toll with a range of programs including road improvements, education and boosting police enforcement.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant said the record budget has come at a time when we are seeing an increase in deaths on our roads in NSW.
“This will help deliver the NSW Government’s commitment to increasing roadside drug testing and carrying out 97,400 tests by 2017.”
Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said the Budget includes funding to deliver high priority road safety actions announced with the launch of the Towards Zero campaign last month.
“There’s $250,000 to trial in ground pedestrian traffic signals to help protect people who are looking down at their phones crossing the road,” Mr Gay said.
“We’ll also invest $20 million over five years in road improvements to address fatigue related crashes, such as rumble strips, barriers and wider centre line markings.
“Over three years we’ll spend $5 million rolling out 200 vehicle activated speed advisory signs to remind speeding drivers to slow down at high-crash risk locations.”
Funding also includes $68 million for the Safer Roads Program, which delivers projects to improve road safety for the community and reduce the risk and severity of crashes on NSW roads, which includes:
- $23.2 million to help identify and improve the State’s black spots
- More than $5 million for pedestrian safety programs, including the rollout of pedestrian countdown timers, changes to signals at intersections to prevent green lights for pedestrians and vehicles at the same time and the start of a four year program to identify high risk pedestrian locations and install safety improvements particularly for older people
- $10.1 million for safer local government roads, including $1.1 million for Aboriginal communities to address the high risk locations where local people have been injured or lost their lives
- $10 million to improve high risk routes where people regularly travel to prevent future crashes that result in serious injuries and deaths
- $5 million to identify our most dangerous curves where people are losing their lives mainly due to speed to improve the protection for people at these locations
- $7 million to identify sites with a high risk of vehicles running off the road because of inattention and fatigue to make road improvements to increase safety
- $6 million to apply safety improvements to high risk intersections, especially in our urban areas, where most of our serious injuries are occurring
- $1.7 million for infrastructure safety improvements on popular motorcycle routes with high risk of casualties.
In addition, $5 million has been allocated to the local government road safety program, including funding for Road Safety Officers and road safety projects to engage with their local community to address road safety priorities.
Mr Gay said the focus on road safety education in early childhood centres and schools continues in 2016-17, with a $5.2 million investment.
“It’s crucial that the road safety values are imparted on our children from a young age and this commitment will continue to see our tailored education programs delivered across NSW,” Mr Gay said.
Mr Grant said the record road safety budget represents the NSW Government’s commitment to do everything it can to curb the spike in the road toll, but that road users must also play a role preventing deaths.
“Our new Towards Zero campaign is reminding the community that every road death is someone’s friend or family member, so we’re asking people to consider how many is too many,” Mr Grant said.
The 2016-17 road safety budget includes a significant contribution from the NSW Community Road Safety Fund, where every cent from speed camera fines goes, as well as funding from the Australian Government.
The Community Road Safety Fund also funds other initiatives including protecting our young people through the Safer Drivers Course, reducing the impact of drink driving through our alcohol interlock program, safety around schools including additional flashing lights and our public education campaigns like the recent Towards Zero Campaign, Plan B, and Get Your Hand Off It.