Parkes Shire Council has endorsed the biggest ever road safety plan

Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor will deliver Council's biggest ever road safety program.
Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor will deliver Council's biggest ever road safety program.

Parkes Shire Council has endorsed the biggest ever Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council Road Safety Action Plan.

The plan, for the years 2020 through to 2023, includes 10 projects worth more than $350,000.

Parkes Council Director of Works Ben Howard said the projects will target priority road safety issues including speeding, drink driving, driver fatigue, child restraint, heavy vehicles, young drivers and more.

Added to the program will be a new component addressing safe driving on unsealed roads.

Across the three councils, Mr Howard said, there are in excess of 5,000 kilometres of unsealed roads.

"The road safety action plan sets out works to move forward and deliver a number of projects and programs with support from Transport NSW," he said.

The program is implemented by the shared Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor.

Ms Suitor is employed as part of the Local Government Road Safety Program, which is a partnership between Transport for NSW and the three Councils.

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Transport for NSW is providing $145,365 in funding with a further $144,500 from the Councils' in in-kind support/actual costs as well as $67,250 from other funding sources.

Mr Howard told Parkes Council's August meeting "This is the largest Road Safety Action Plan submitted by the Councils' in their 18 years of participation in the Local Government Road Safety Program".

Speaking in support of the plan Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith said the region is "over represented by accidents".

"Not wearing seat belts is still a big issue, particularly on gravel roads," he added.

The Get a Grip on Gravel Roads program will be carried out at a cost of just over $19,000.

The funding will be spent on the installation of warning signs on targeted gravel roads, along with a research project which will lead to an education/behaviour change campaign.

Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor will deliver Council's biggest ever road safety program.

Transport NSW is putting $7,000 towards the program with the remainder coming from the three councils.

The Not A Statistic Youth Driver Education Program will continue at $28,000 annually.

The program, known as the "Mock Crash" involves approximately 500 Year 10 students each year.

It includes pre and post classroom lessons along with a live mock crash demonstration.

Other programs planned (with total cost to Transport NSW and Councils) include:

  • Heavy vehicle safety ($108,250)- The continuation of a multi-faceted program that includes the annual central west NSW heavy vehicle breakfast forum; the annual be road ready for harvest field day; a harvest safety education campaign; a sharing the road with trucks education campaign and; a load restraint education campaign.
  • Plan B Win a Swag ($45,150 annually)
  • Free Cuppa for Driver Scheme ($38,265).
  • Please Slow Down - a speeding research project which will lead to an education/behaviour change campaign ($21,250).
  • Plan B - an education campaign promoting having a Plan B ($5,000).
  • Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers workshop - The workshops are for parents and other supervisors of learner drivers ($5,450).
  • Observation surveys - Continuation of surveys to measure, monitor and improve local seatbelt wearing rates and complying with mobile phone legislation ($12,000).
  • I'm Counting on You - A multi-faceted program that includes free child restraint checking events; increasing both the number of local authorised Child Restraint Fitting Stations; child restraint information for new mums groups etc and; investigating ways to deliver child restraint best practice information to grandparents ($18,600).