National Road Safety Week 2018 comes to a close

Perth was chosen to be this year’s host city for the 2018 National Road Safety Week, which began five years ago and is an initiative of Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) founder and president Peter Frazer.

Peter lost his daughter Sarah in an horrific road crash in 2012 just as she was on her way to begin her university studies at a neighbouring university and to start a new chapter in her life at the age of 23.

Sarah had experienced car trouble on the way to her first day of university and had been forced to pull over to the emergency lane and to call and wait for a tow truck to provide assistance. Sadly both Sarah and the tow truck driver were killed instantly when a truck, which failed to see and avoid them, ploughed into them both killing them instantly.

Peter later discovered that the emergency lane on that stretch of road did not meet national safety guidelines and has become a tireless campaigner for road safety, marking the start of a journey neither he nor his wife had ever wanted to take.

The campaign launch was held at Perth’s newly opened Yagan Square on Sunday April 29 and was officially marked by WA Road Safety Minister Hon. Michelle Roberts and acting Road Safety Commissioner Iain Cameron, leading road safety figures from across WA, community members and the Road Trauma Support WA team.

The week highlighted the safety needs of different road users and groups throughout the week, focusing on first responders, roadside assistance workers, vulnerable road users, those on regional roads as well as cyclists and motorcyclists.

It also incorporated a research forum which brought together those involved in enforcement, legislation, protection, research and support, looking at the latest trends and evidence around road safety and mapping out ways to work together moving forward.

Although the profile and impact of National Road Safety Week continues to grow each year and to resonate with communities across Australia, the reality is that despite education, advocacy, legislation and enforcement, the number of those killed and injured on our roads continues to grow. And with that the number of families and community members who are left devastated in its wake.

Governments across the world continue to call for tougher penalties for those who break the law on our roads, and although the vast majority abide by those laws, there are still those who don’t – putting themselves and others at risk.

Road Safety experts also referred to those who aren’t drinking and driving, who aren’t speeding and who are routinely wearing their seatbelts, but who make momentary mistakes that will impact them and those around them for the rest of their lives.

The Road Trauma Support WA team would like to thank Peter Frazer and the SARAH group for all of their hard work, the WA Road Safety Commission team who coordinated the event nationally from Perth, WA Road Safety Minister Hon. Michelle Roberts and all those across Australia who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the events of the past week happen.

As we reflect on the events of the past week, which have successfully put road safety in the national spotlight, lets pause to remember all of those who are struggling in the wake of road trauma.

If you, a friend, family member or colleague has been impacted by road trauma would like further information or support it is available at www.rtswa.org.au

Injury Matters Submission to National Road Safety Strategy Inquiry 2011-2020

On 8 September the Australian Government announced an inquiry in to the national Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020.

Despite efforts to improve road safety and driver behaviour, road fatalities and critical injuries remain a serious problem in Western Australia. The physical impact as well as mental heath outcomes of individuals and communities affected by road crashes can be long lasting. Injury Matters provides much needed high quality mental health support services for people who have been affected by a road trauma through the Road Trauma Support WA service.

Injury Matters’ submission to the inquiry can be read here.

RTSWA joins the annual Blessing of the Roads

RTSWA acting manager, Ryan Fernie, joined the new WA Police and Road Safety Minister, the Hon Michelle Roberts MLA and Road Safety Commissioner Kim Papalia for the annual Blessing of the Roads in Mirrabooka this year. The event was jointly coordinated by the cities of Stirling, Swan and Joondalup and put the focus on road safety as we headed into traditionally one of the worst periods on our roads – the Easter long weekend. To read more please click here.

The Road Trauma Support WA team heads to Bunbury to work with our First Responders

A specialised team from the Road Trauma Support team will head to Bunbury on Thursday March 9 to deliver a specialised workshop for emergency services personnel from Bunbury and the surrounding region.

“Working with Grief, Loss and Trauma: How to Support Yourself and Others – is a specially tailored one day course which has been developed in conjunction with WA Charity Sirens of Silence, WA Police and Curtin University.

The course will help those on the front line understand how to appropriately respond to those impacted by grief, loss and trauma, understand the impact working in this area can have and assist attendees to develop appropriate self-care strategies to prevent burn out and the onset of post traumatic stress disorder.

It will be interactive and give those present the opportunity to share stories and experiences in a safe, non-judgemental environment and to assist them to integrate resiliance strategies into their daily working and personal lives.

Please see the attached flyer for more information and registration details.