The Australasian College of Road Safety (ACRS) is pleading for urgent and effective action to address road safety issues following the recent announcement by the new NSW Government regarding a demerit give-back program for drivers. The government has missed a critical opportunity to prioritise road safety by downplaying expert advice and evidence.
Returning one demerit point simply isn’t enough to change driver behaviour or tackle the root causes of road trauma. To be effective, it must be part of a more comprehensive approach that includes crucial measures such as improving infrastructure, implementing behavioural change programs, utilising advanced vehicle technology, and reassessing speed zones.
“Statements such as ‘the more people who qualify for a point, the safer our roads’ is simply conjecture, without strong evidence or expert support,” says ACRS NSW Chapter Deputy Chair Michael Timms.
The ACRS is instead calling for a thorough review of speed zones throughout NSW. Speeding remains the biggest contributor to road trauma, resulting in devastating fatalities and life-altering injuries, particularly in regional and rural NSW. We urgently need to align speed limits with road conditions, combined with effective enforcement tools, to achieve significant reductions in road trauma and prevent further tragedies. Safety must be prioritised over public opinion.
The ACRS demands evidence-based measures that address road trauma head-on, rather than relying on superficial measures like the demerit point give-back program. Our road safety policies must be firmly grounded in evidence, guided by experts, and focused on saving lives.