Following the United Nations’ World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims at the weekend, Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has joined with Safer Australian Roads And Highways (SARAH) President Peter Frazer in asking Australians to spend a moment to remember those who were killed or injured on our roads in the past year.
“With 1200 Australians killed and more than 30,000 seriously injured each year, the road statistics are most distressing,” Mr Chester said.
“These figures tell us nothing about the personal stories of those involved, of our emergency services personnel who become traumatised by what they see, of the parents and partners left to identify their loved ones, and of the sad legacy faced by family and friends for the rest of their lives.”
Mr Frazer said in addition to the physical and emotional toll, road trauma is estimated to cost the country $27 billion per annum.
“Despite the statistics, road injury and death is mostly hidden from our community, and as a result, we can become desensitized. For example, after a road tragedy has occurred, often all you hear is that some anonymous person has been killed, and that traffic is banked up, delaying commuters from getting home,” Mr Frazer said.
“But if you speak with emergency service workers about what they face, and with families and friends about what they endure after the death of a loved one, it is impossible not to be moved.”
Mr Frazer said the Governor General, Hon Sir Peter Cosgrove AC MK, had described the carnage as like a “war on our roads”.
“We know our fellow Australians not only want to show their concern for those who are suffering, but indeed demonstrate their desire to look after each other on our roads and highways… and we want to give them a chance to do just that,” Mr Frazer said.
“So over the course of this week, together with Mr Chester, I simply ask that people stop for a moment to remember the 1200 Australians killed and 30,000 seriously injured on our roads last year.
“Then show that you stand in solidarity with them and their loved ones, by pledging to “DRIVE So Others Survive!”
The “DRIVE So Others Survive!” Pledge can be taken at: sarahgroup.org/get-involved/drive-sos-pledge