Rival A-League teams the Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Sydney FC have put their differences aside to join forces to call for safer behaviour on our roads.
In an emotional tribute on the eve of the A-League Sydney Derby, the two sides today staged a powerful image of 297 footballs gathered in a lone goal, each symbolic of a life tragically lost last year on NSW roads.
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said today’s tribute was part of the NSW Government sponsored Towards Zero Round between the two A-League sides on Saturday at Bankwest Stadium.
“The Towards Zero Round aims to highlight the real value of reaching zero deaths on our roads and why it’s something we all should be working towards. When it comes to deaths on our roads, the only acceptable outcome is zero,” Mr Constance said.
“For every goalkeeper who pulls the gloves on, the only number of goals they want to allow in is zero. When it comes to deaths on our roads, the only acceptable number is the same, zero.”
Executive Director of the Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon said the partnership between Transport for NSW and the Wanderers focuses on educating the community about how their actions behind the wheel can impact others.
“Everyone can make a difference with the decisions they make on the road every day – stay under the speed limit, plan ahead, avoid driving tired, put down your phone and always wear your seatbelt,” Mr Carlon said.
“If you’re having a drink, make sure you have a Plan B to get home safely that doesn’t involve getting behind the wheel.”
The Towards Zero match will see both the Wanderers and Sydney FC goalkeepers wear the number ‘0’ on their backs as a powerful symbol of the Towards Zero message.
Four of those 297 lives lost in 2020 were siblings Antony, 13, Angelina, 12 and Sienna Abdallah, eight and their cousin Veronique Sakr, 11, who were tragically killed at Oatlands.
In a touching tribute, the Abdallah and Sakr families presented both goalkeepers with their commemorative ‘0’ jerseys ahead of Saturday’s match.
Mr Carlon said, with the help of the Wanderers and Sydney FC, the NSW Government is working towards bringing road safety, and in particular the slow down message, closer to home.
“So far this year we have seen speed related deaths drop below 40 per cent but speeding still remains the leading cause of death and serious injury on NSW roads,” Mr Carlon said.
“In order to reach our shared goal of driving the road toll Towards Zero every one of us needs to take responsibility for the speed at which we travel when getting behind the wheel.”