Rural Road Safety month: New England North West to take note of Australian Road Safety Foundation research

ALARM: Many regional drivers said they took risks on our roads because they would 'not get caught'.
ALARM: Many regional drivers said they took risks on our roads because they would 'not get caught'.

A staggering 70 per cent of drivers in NSW admit to dangerous driving.

Many rural drivers have claimed that 'not getting caught' was one of the reasons they weren't as safe as they should be on our roads.

With statistics showing 835 people tragically lost their lives on regional roads last year, Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) says attitudes need to change.

This year alone, many New England towns have mourned at least one death on their roads.

A 60 year old man died in Tenterfield in May, while a young woman in her 20s died in another crash in Inverell in March.

A 46-year-old woman died on a Walcha road also in March. A 49-year-old man died on a Tamworth road in the same month.

To highlight August's Rural Road Safety month, ARSF has released this new research to put how we view road safety and responsibility into perspective.

For Sydney-siders, the results indicate many wrongly believe that rural roads are safer than the citys'.

Almost half claimed, incorrectly, more road deaths happened in city areas.

Yet responses also tell us that rural and regional drivers are more conscious of their behaviour causing harm to others, whereas metro drivers were more likely to be concerned with harming themselves.

The disparity in attitudes needs to be addressed, says ARSF Founder and CEO Russell White.

[N]ot getting caught was the most common response, and it was most prevalent amongst regional drivers.

Russell White

He said every Australian driver regardless of location, must take ownership of their role in reducing the rural road toll.

"Despite smaller population numbers, 835 people tragically lost their lives on regional roads last year, which shows that just one dangerous choice can have dire consequences," Mr White said.

"When it came to reasons for increasing risky behaviour on rural roads, not getting caught was the most common response, and it was most prevalent amongst regional drivers.

"We will continue to see an unnecessary loss of life in rural communities until we acknowledge that all road users have a personal responsibility to ensure safety."

This story 'Not getting caught' excuse why rural drivers act dangerously first appeared on The Armidale Express.