Drivers are being urged to take care on our roads, after the number of people dying while not wearing a seatbelt or speeding doubled compared to the same time last year.
Between March and July, 65 people died in speed related crashes on NSW roads, up from 27% of all fatalities during the same period last year to 54%, and 17 people died while not wearing an available seatbelt, up from 9% of vehicle occupant fatalities to 22%.
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said we know people are staying home more due to COVID-19 but we need to make sure we do not become complacent on our roads as a result.
“Too many people are dying on roads close to home during this health crisis. Nearly 70% of those who died when they weren’t wearing a seatbelt crashed on a road in their local area,” Mr Constance said.
“These aren’t just figures, they are people. People who are missed by their families, their friends, their colleagues and their communities simply because someone decided to speed or didn’t think it was important to put on a seatbelt.”
“It’s a privilege and not a right to drive. So when you get behind the wheel, make the right choice – slow down and buckle up – it could save your life or someone else’s.”
Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary for Safety, Environment and Regulation Tara McCarthy said that men in particular were featuring prominently in the statistics.
“Of the 65 people who’ve died in speed related crashes, 48 were men, and of the 17 driver and passenger fatalities not wearing an available seatbelt 13 were male.”
“When you get behind the wheel remember you can make choices that have an impact on yourself and other road users.”
While speeding and seatbelt related deaths were up, fatigue related fatalities were down from 15% to 8%, and alcohol related crash deaths remained steady at 13%.