2016, there were 1,293 fatalities on Australian roads. So far this year, 153 fatalities have already occurred just on Queensland roads alone.
With a goal of zero deaths on our roads, we set out on a mission, along with Join the Drive and the Queensland Police, to get the entire Sunshine Coast to speak up for road safety.
Since we know that most collisions occur during peak hours (8-9am and 3-6pm weekdays account for over 27% of all our collision claims), coinciding with school drop-offs and work commutes, we asked local schools and businesses to help set the example for road safety by encouraging their staff and students to make a pledge.
Planet Smash Repairs along with JB Hi-Fi Maroochydore, JB Hi-Fi Kawana, The Mooloolaba Surf Club, Maroochy Surf Club and the Sunshine Coast Council were amongst some of the local businesses who rallied their teams to pledge for road safety in the lead up to Queensland Road Safety Week.
Oceanside Early Learning Centre and Sunshine Coast schools also got on board, with Pacific Paradise State Primary School hosting an hour-long road safety event where children showcased their safety pledges and were joined by guests from Queensland Police, Join the Drive and the media.
Meanwhile at Youi HQ, we rang in Queensland Road Safety week with an event for our 900+ employees just outside our offices. Our Youiers were asked to bring their own safety pledge along to the event, where they learned about road safety from our various guests including ABS Brakes, Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge, Roadcraft Driver Education, Queensland Police, Join the Drive and Giant Sunshine Coast. Some of the topics that were covered include tips for driving in cars with animals, top defensive driving strategies, an update on road rules and an overview of the "fatal five" behaviours that contribute the most deaths and accidents to our roads. The event was covered by Hot 91.1, whose very own breakfast host, Sam Coward, shared a few touching stories about road fatalities he witnessed.
By 2:30pm on the first day of Queensland Road Safety Week, including all of the pledges from our own staff, the schools and the local businesses who got involved, we had already collected a total of nearly 3,000 road safety pledges.
We're hoping the awareness we've raised so far will help inspire more individuals, businesses and schools to speak up for road safety. Here are a few ways you can get involved this week, or any day of the year.
Kelly from Oceanside Early Learning Centre hands over road safety pledges from her team & clients
What you can do
- Upload a picture to social media using the hashtag #speakupselfie to raise awareness during Queensland Road Safety Week
- Remind your friends and family to drive safe
- Be a distraction-free passenger
- Avoid using your mobile phone while driving - even hands-free conversations can be dangerous
What your business can do
- Host a morning tea or a lunch & learn about safe driving
- Email all of your co-workers reminding them to upload a photo to social media using the hashtag #speakupselfie to help raise awareness
- If you see a co-worker who is sick or fatigued, offer to drive them home
- Set a daily challenge for your co-workers, such as "no tail-gating Monday,"or "Road rage free Friday"
What your school can do
- Incorporate a road safety theme into some of your lessons this week
- Ask students to collect a road safety pledge from everyone in their family
- Play a road safety game where the students get to test their knowledge of road rules
- Create a safety plan for riding the bus with your students that includes tips on how not to distract the bus driver, and how to enter and exit the bus safely