ARSF founder and CEO Russell White honours lives lost on NSW roads in 2017 at Sydney's Fatality Free Friday pledging event.
ARSF founder and CEO Russell White honours lives lost on NSW roads in 2017 at Sydney's Fatality Free Friday pledging event. Ray Cash

Pleas for local drivers to take care as road toll climbs

DESPITE being home to only 35 per cent of the NSW population, around 67 per cent of fatal road accidents have taken place on rural and regional roads so far this year, prompting pleas for local drivers to take more care.

Recently, a man was killed in a single-vehicle crash at south Grafton. Last week, an 18-year-old man lost his life after his car flipped at Waterfall Way west of Bellingen.

The Australian Road Safety Foundation has released worrying new research this week showing the majority of NSW residents are unaware of how serious road safety is.

According to the research, when asked how many people they believed were killed on NSW roads each year, 76 per cent of respondents couldn't guess within 200 of the figure.

The research also shows 89% of NSW residents agree road crashes are the result of bad decisions or attitudes, and believe more should be done to save lives.

Half admitted to speeding, and two in five admitted to driving fatigued.

Around 1 in 10 have driven while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"The reality is that more often than not, the tragic loss of life on our roads is because of someone's choice - the choice to speed or to use a mobile phone, the choice to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the choice not wear a seatbelt or run a red light,” ARSF CEO Russell White said.

"These are split second decisions that many people make all the time, but sometimes the consequences are fatal. And with every life lost, there are countless friends and family who will forever carry the heartache of losing someone close to them.”

The data has been released as the ASRF call on individuals and community groups to support its annual Fatality Free Friday initiative tomorrow, where road users are asked to make a pledge to choose road safety online.