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Victorian councils urged to back ‘Towards Zero’ road safety policy

”SLOW DOWN” is the safety message in Albion Street, Brunswick East. Photo: Joe ArmaoThe TAC has urged councils across the state to back Victoria’s new “Towards Zero” road safety campaign.
Nanjing Night Net

The TAC believes Victoria’s councils – which are responsible for the majority of the state’s road network – can make their roads safer through: better speed management in areas used by many pedestrians and cyclists,the introduction of more traffic-calming measures in local streets,publicly backing the “Towards Zero” philosophy,applying for grants for projects that improve pedestrian and cyclist safety,addressing local road safety concerns with the help of TAC road safety grants.

The push comes as the state’s road toll climbs. It now stands at 95 for 2016, compared to 83 at this time last year.

Samantha Cockfield​ from the TAC said the high 2016 toll was the “exact reason we need to change the approach that we’ve had in the past” towards road safety.

“One by one we hope to eliminate the risks in the system that actually cause people to be killed or seriously injured. Probably one of the big differences between the old approach [and the new] is that we used to be trying to prevent accidents, per se, crashes,” she said.

“Now we’re trying to prevent people from being killed and seriously injured. So it’s actually taking the energy out of a crash … we’re minimising the forces in a crash to the point where, if you have one, you’ll survive,” she said.

Meanwhile, Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett, the member for Brunswick, is backing a campaign urging road users to slow down  to make the streets safer. Prominent signs  in Ms Garret’s electorate were funded from her electorate office communications budget

“Brunswick has some of Melbourne’s busiest road, tram and cycling corridors. These signs support a community-led campaign and are designed to remind everyone to slow down and stay safe on our roads,” she said.

“Earlier this year, the Andrews Labor Government completed a $1.6 million upgrade to Sydney Road to make sure cyclists, pedestrians and drivers are as safe as possible.”

Mornington Peninsula Shire recently became the first Victorian council to publicly back the Towards Zero campaign. Local mayor Graham Pittock​ said recently that although the shire had made many road safety improvements, road trauma remained at unacceptable levels.

And on Monday Ballarat mayor Des Hudson, chairman of the municipality’s road safety committee, expressed support for Towards Zero. “I’m sure our road safety advisory committee would certainly come on board with the Towards Zero campaign. And I think it’s also something that council as a whole would be quite comfortable supporting,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.