Drive safely to protect human life, as well as animals including our koala population.
That was the message when the first leg of yellow ribbon relay for road safety stopped at Port Macquarie Koala Hospital on Thursday (May 6).
The awareness raising event, in the lead-up to National Road Safety Week, acted as a reminder that everyone can play a part to help reduce road trauma for both our community and wildlife.
Transport for NSW director of north region Anna Zycki spoke about the importance of road safety.
"The most important thing for us is that all the people of NSW get home safely every day and people are aware of the road rules and safety on the road," she said.
Ms Zycki encouraged people to be conscious of road safety and be aware of animals on the road.
National Road Safety Week, which runs from May 16 to 23, highlights the impact of road trauma and ways to reduce it.
Cowper MP Pat Conaghan said it was really pleasing in 2019, the first federal Office of Road Safety was created, and with it came the Joint Select Committee on Road Safety.
"In doing that, we've been able to recognise road safety is a real issue, particularly for our regional and rural communities," he said.
Some 1127 people died on our nation's roads in 2020. That figure was 1188 in 2019.
"If you compare the sad number of 910 that lost their lives in COVID, but then compare how many billions of dollars we spent on dealing with the pandemic, it's arguable that the road toll itself is a national pandemic year after year after year," he said.
Deputy mayor Lisa Intemann said 50 per cent of fatal crashes were caused by speed.
"Slow down to save all life," she said.
When it came to wildlife, there were 41 reported koala road strikes in our region during 2020.
Cr Intemann urged motorists to slow down, look for road signs, take notice of speed limits and take extra care at dawn and dusk.
Koala Conservation Australia president Sue Ashton said everyone could play a role in helping to keep our koalas safe from road strike.
"I make a plea to people, if you are in a wildlife zone, and there is plenty of signage beside our roads, please slow down and give the wildlife, as well as the people on the roads, a chance for survival," she said.
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