Mr PASIN (Barker) (13:53): This month is Rural Road Safety Month. As a passionate member who represents a rural and regional electorate, the chamber may not be surprised to learn that I spend a lot of time on the roads. What it might be surprised to learn is that it equates to 100,000 kilometres a year, often very late at night or very early in the morning. As such, I’m acutely aware of the dangers that present themselves on our roads. Indeed I’ve hit my fair share of kangaroos, and that’s just recently—as you may have read in the media.
These dangers are bad enough, but add to that research that I’ve come across today from the Australian Road Safety Foundation. That is that despite two-thirds of road deaths occurring on regional roads in 2018, a third of rural road users admit to taking risks behind the wheel. Whether this be speeding, using a mobile phone or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the fact is that rural road users can’t afford to take these risks. Over 1,300 people are killed on Australian roads every year.
I implore everyone to take extra care, not just for themselves but for their passengers and for other road users. Road safety is a community issue, and we’ve all got to take responsibility to minimise the risk of crashes and to save lives, because 1,300 are 1,300 too many.