Here is Melinda Pavey laying out the road safety agenda for New South Wales in the next few years. Her job title is quite a long one, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight. In fact, as she introduces herself and gives us her title, this is the only time she mentions ‘freight’.
There’s minimal mention of trucks and trucking, even though in the past few weeks it has been trucking which was the big baddie and said to be the cause of the increase in accidents on the roads in the state. If trucking is such a problem, they need a major blitz on all truckies, wouldn’t you include more in your road safety plan?
This is not to try and make little of the importance of the spike in fatalities. There is a problem, the numbers have risen in NSW and something needs to be done. The Minister is right, there is much to be done on country roads and all of the ideas mentioned are admirable. Better pedestrian infrastructure and lower speeds is going to work well in reducing issues in urban areas.
She gets it right when talking about educating and protecting road-users. On this we can all agree. Heavy vehicles do get a small mention in a long list of the communities the government want to engage on safety.
Improved vehicle safety technology is a given, it has been ramping up in recent years, and selling well. Improved road design would also be a boon. So often roads are designed to do a job and meet a budget without getting the best results.
The final comment is telling, ‘Every road user in NSW has to play their part’. Let’s emphasise the word ‘every’ again. This is not just a trucking issue or a car issue, or any other single issue. There are ratbags in every section of road users. Let’s see if the kind of close attention the trucking industry has got in the last few weeks is given to these other segments of the road using population.