Joining forces to save lives - record road safety investment
Deputy Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay announced a record $307 million will be invested in the next 12 months to improve road safety.
This funding marks the biggest road safety investment in the state’s history and 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.
A massive $25 million will be allocated in the 2015-16 NSW Budget to fund additional high visibility police enforcement including funds to boost Roadside Drug Testing, delivering on the NSW Government’s commitment to triple roadside drug testing to 97,000 tests by 2017.
The Budget also includes $2 million to kick-start delivery of the NSW Government’s promise to boost safety around schools including improving infrastructure like zebra crossings and rolling out additional flashing lights to schools with multiple busy entrances.
The NSW Government has also prioritised responding more quickly to fatal crashes with a new program funded in the Budget designed to provide immediate safety measures at fatal crash sites such as signage, line-marking and other safety treatments.
Mr Grant said the NSW Government is providing police with more state-of-the-art technology to test for illicit drugs as part of the Government’s commitment to combat the use of drugs, particularly ice, in our communities.
“Advancements in technology, such as the Drager Drug Test machine, are allowing us to test more drivers for illicit drugs more often,” Mr Grant said.
“NSW Police figures show one in 285 breath tests returns a positive result, while one in 13 drug tests come back positive. More than 90 per cent who test positive to drugs have more than one drug in their system.
“The message is simple: getting behind the wheel with drugs in your system is not only completely reckless and irresponsible, it is illegal.”
Mr Gay said nothing is more important than protecting our most vulnerable road users, our children and school road safety is a key feature of the Budget.
“We are putting a safety cone around our schools, from flashing lights to safer crossings to designated pick-up and drop-off points, we’re improving school road safety in every way,” Mr Gay said.
“We said we’d get flashing lights to every school in NSW before the end of the year and we’re right on track to deliver, with more than 60 per cent of the current flashing lights roll out already completed.
“This Government will not sit on our hands when it comes to road safety and this record Budget is proof that no element will be left unturned as part of our promise to reduce fatalities on our roads.”
Highlights of the 2015-16 NSW road safety Budget include:
- $25.5 million for the state’s black spots to identify roads with a higher incidence of casualty crashes
- $25 million for additional NSW Police enforcement and Roadside Drug Testing
- $2 million for additional school zone safety with additional flashing lights for schools with multiple entrances and new safety infrastructure
- $2 million for pedestrian safety to improve pedestrian facilities in high density pedestrian areas and crash locations
- $1 million for cycling safety to improve safety on popular routes used by cyclists
- $2 million for intersection safety to improve safety at high risk locations
- $1 million for fatal crash response to provide an immediate safety response following a fatal crash, such as signage or line-marking
- $4.8 million to finalise the roll-out of flashing lights to all schools in the state
- $12 million for route safety reviews to assess safety issues on highways and major arterial roads and advise improvements
- $10 million for treatment of run off road and head on crashes to improve safety for errant vehicles and known lane departure type crashes
- $10 million for safer local government roads (including $1 million for Aboriginal communities) to help poorer performing Local Government managed roads based on crash risk and analysis
- $3 million for motorcycle safety to identify popular motorcycle routes with higher risk of casualty and develop infrastructure countermeasures
- $5.5 million on the local government road safety program, funding for Road Safety Officer’s and road safety projects to more than 80 local councils around the state
- $6.5 million for road safety education in schools and the early childhood sector.