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Cessnock joins drive to prevent regional road trauma

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Cessnock City Council is encouraging all residents to make a promise during Rural Road Safety Month in September.

An initiative of the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF), the campaign invites road users to take the Pledge to Choose Road Safety while aiming to raise awareness of the high number of deaths occurring regionally compared to urban zones.

New ARSF research has revealed that two in three fatalities occur on regional roads, despite only one third of the population residing in these areas.

The statistics also showed that a quarter of Australian drivers were more likely to break a road rule when using a regional or rural thoroughfare.

But, it’s not all bad news for the Cessnock Local Government Area (LGA).

Recent data from the Transport for NSW Centre for Road Safety has shown a downward trend in serious injury crashes in the LGA from 2015 to 2019.

The report credits improvements to the road network, community education programs and increased safety features in modern vehicles for the reduction.

Cessnock City’s infrastructure manager Katrina Kerr said the decrease in serious injury in crashes locally was welcome news.

“Our Local Government Road Safety Program is vital to creating a positive road safety culture within the community,” she explained.

“The hazards associated with driving are mitigated by targeted community engagement and road safety awareness campaigns such as Rural Road Safety Month.

“We’ll also continue to deliver quality road safety upgrades with a view to maintaining the current downward trend in casualty crashes throughout the Cessnock LGA.”

Council is a key partner in the delivery of projects and education initiatives under the Transport for NSW Local Government Road Safety Program.

It provides valuable financial support and attracted $73,942 in funding in the 2020-21 financial year.

The money helped to deliver community engagement activities targeting speed, drink driving, fatigue, pedestrians and projects such as the Helping Learner Drivers become Safe Drivers and Joe Rider campaigns.

For information on the Local Government Road Safety Program, visit the Road Safety section of council’s website.

Take the Rural Road Safety Month Pledge to Choose Road Safety at www.arsf.com.au/take-the-pledge.

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