Road safety – is it a local government priority? (What does the evidence suggest?)
Almost 70% of the 392 fatalities on NSW roads in 2017 occurred on country roads (Transport for NSW, 2018). Each year, upwards of half the State’s road fatalities occur on local roads, roads that are the sole responsibility of local government. As the road authority, local councils have the legislated responsibility to manage their road infrastructure; fundamentally this includes ensuring the safety of road users on their networks. Councils and the State Government can no longer plead ignorance to the contribution local roads make to the tragedy and trauma occurring across NSW. Unfortunately, the current situation sees a myriad of systemic hurdles that result in local government not making road safety a priority? What is required to change this?