OVER the next six weeks, Mornington Peninsula motorists will see blue and white signs in danger areas highlighting reasons to drive safely, such as: Because we need to protect our wildlife.
The signs are part of a campaign by the Transport Accident Commission to curb road trauma and serious accidents. In the past five years, 37 people have died on peninsula roads, with another four deaths so far this year.
The peninsula is the second local government area to pilot the TAC program, Drive Safely Because, which highlights local reasons to drive safely and lead to a safer community.
The TAC’s involvement also follows efforts by Mornington Peninsula Shire and the RACV to drive down the number of road accidents on the peninsula (“Thumbs up to cut road speed” The News 10/5/21).
The TAC has worked with the shire to set road safety priorities, particularly around protecting such vulnerable road users as children, pedestrians and cyclists. Its campaign will use events, promotions and visual reminders of how important road safety is to local communities to reduce road trauma.
Roads and road safety minister Ben Carroll said keeping local roads safe was everyone’s responsibility. He said the campaign encouraged people to take ownership of road safety “in their own backyard”.
“By partnering with local governments and directly targeting their priority areas, we hope this initiative will help make an immediate impact on the way people use roads,” Mr Carroll said.
TAC head of road safety Samantha Cockfield said appealing to community mindedness through customised local messaging had an impact. “The grassroots campaign aims to humanise road safety, and remind people that the foremost reasons to slow down and drive safely are the families and friends that we share our local roads with.”
The mayor Cr Despi O’Connor said it was every driver’s responsibility to drive safely. “We hope our localised campaign will make people think twice before driving irresponsibly on our roads,” Cr O’Connor said.
“Our families and friends use these roads and we want them to arrive home safe every day.”
The campaign will target businesses, farmers’ markets, festivals, sports clubs and schools.
Insights and data from the campaign will help inform future road safety partnerships with other local government areas.