Road safety is everybody's responsibility. That message might sound a bit like a broken record, but it's on that needs to be said every year to ensure people put road safety at the forefront of their minds.
This week is national Yellow Ribbon Road Safety Week, and it's a timely reminder to slow down and save lives. The message is especially true as we career headlong towards the festive season (that seems to have started a bit earlier this year). With the borders open to most mainland states and Victoria in the coming weeks, there will likely be increased road activity, with more people around.
Each year for Road Safety Week road trauma survivors and other advocates step out of their comfort zones and tell their stories in the hope that what happened to them doesn't happen to other people.
The problem is, there will always be people who don't pay attention or who don't play by the rules on the roads. Still, every individual has a responsibility to ensure how they behave doesn't negatively impact on someone else's life.
This year for Road Safety Week, the state government and the Road Safety Advisory Council want everyone to play their part to reduce severe injuries and fatalities.
Tasmania's road toll for 2020 is at 15 fatalities, according to data from the Department of State Growth. That number is up 87 per cent from 2019. There have also been 78 incidents involving severe injuries, which is down 2 per cent. Each death or painful injury incident is one too many and causes extreme heartache for the person's friends and family. Sticking to the road rules is essential to keep our roads safe.
Road Safety Week began as an annual event eight years ago to remember and honour those lives lost on our roads, and encourage the community to pledge to drive safely. There is nothing more important than driving safely - you can be late, or miss an appointment if it means that you arrive safely. Road safety is in the spotlight this week, but it's something we can do every day to save ourselves and others.
So slow down, drive to survive - you never know whose life you might have saved.