Road Safety Week 2013 is now underway, with Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) once again sponsoring the Yellow Ribbon Campaign aimed at raising awareness of the need for road safety improvements.
The theme of this year’s campaign is ‘Drive So Others Survive’, reflecting this year’s focus on pedestrian safety during the week, which runs from May 6-12, culminating on Mother’s Day.
NRMA Motoring & Services are supporting the campaign and more than 300 of its roadside assistance vehicles will be displaying yellow ribbons this week.
“The Yellow Ribbon Safety campaign has grown enormously since its inception last year, the yellow ribbon is a tangible way of motorists showing support for the safety of all road users,” said NRMA local director David Bentham in a May 5 statement.
The NRMA are a natural partner for SARAH, as one of this year’s key messages is that emergency services personnel become at risk pedestrians when they are attending incidents, crashes and breakdowns.
“Our major focus will be making the public aware of the dangers faced by those who assist and protect us when we are in trouble on our roads and highways,” Mr Bentham said.
Mr Bentham said that tow truck drivers, roadside assistance and emergency services’ personnel could become vulnerable on the road when going about their jobs.
“All motorists have a duty to protect them from harm as they carry out their work.”
NSW police have also urged motorists to take care this week, noting that over 270,000 pedestrians die on the world’s roads each year.
Operations commander of Traffic and Highway Patrol superintendent Stuart Smith said pedestrian safety is more at risk when drivers speed.
In a May 6 statement, he said that a pedestrian hit by a car travelling at 40 km/h has a 25 per cent risk of dying, while someone hit by a vehicle going 60 km/h had an 85 per cent chance.
Mr Smith also warned about the effects that illegal drugs can have on a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle in a safe fashion.
These include being detrimental to concentration, judgement and the precision skills needed to drive safely.
“Those who drive while under the influence of any drug are automatically at greater risk of injuring or killing themselves, their passengers and other road users.”
Pedestrians can suffer significant injuries if hit by cars or other vehicles and under the NSW motor accident compensation scheme, victims may be entitled to car accident compensation.
Compensation lawyers can provide specialist advice to injured pedestrians on their entitlements.