Five tips to drive safely on country conditions

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Did you know that two thirds of fatal crashes in NSW occur in country areas? That’s why the NRMA has teamed up with local councils surrounding the NSW and ACT border to remind motorists that they “don’t have to be speeding to be driving too fast on country roads.”  

The Country Roads Safety campaign was launched earlier this year after local data analysis by Yass Valley Council found as many as 33 per cent of local accidents involved drivers from other Local Government Areas. The campaign encourages motorists to consider the following:

1. Slow down on country roads, driver to the conditions
2. It takes longer to stop on gravel roads and no time to lose control
3. Expect the unexpected – animals, livestock, machinery and trucks
4. Don’t swerve for an animal – break, flash your lights, hit your horn
5. Remember: country road conditions change rapidly

Research has shown that a high number of country road crashes are ‘off road’, suggesting motorists may be selecting inappropriate speeds while driving on lower standard roads, and that interstate traffic may be unfamiliar with more varied road environments.

“Those unfamiliar with country roads might get a little nervous when they hit gravel roads or are confronted with animals crossing the road,” says NRMA Director, Kate Lundy.

“Likewise, those who are familiar with the roads and conditions may get complacent, and this can be a recipe for disaster when combined with long drives or night time conditions.”

Do you feel prepared when driving on country roads ?

Think twice this Queen’s Birthday long weekend

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Image courtesy of NSW Police Force Facebook

We remind motorists that double demerits apply for four days in NSW from Friday 9th of June to Monday 12th of June inclusive. Please drive safely and take extra care on the roads. 

If you are planning a road trip this break, download the my nrma app first. You can use it to find the cheapest fuel on your route, order roadside assistance and find parking.

Also, as of 4 January 2016 the standard penalty for mobile phone offences rose to four demerit points. Since the end of last year, mobile phone offences have been included in double demerit periods. This means those caught talking or texting illegally while driving during this long weekend will incur eight demerit points – a huge amount when the threshold on unrestricted licences is 13 points.

The double demerit point scheme now applies for the following types of offences:

  • Speeding
  • Illegal use of mobile phones
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Riding without a helmet

The scheme is designed to encourage safe and responsible driving. Working in conjunction with financial penalties, demerit points provide a strong incentive to drive within the law.

Double demerit periods were introduced in 1997 in NSW. By law, double demerit periods must be advertised and awareness campaigns are co-ordinated with traditional enforcement and increased police numbers. See the RMS Demerits points page for a full rundown of offences and penalties.

Do you think the Double Demerits scheme is an effective way of preventing dangerous driving?

Road safety is in your hands – take the Fatality Free pledge

SIGN UP: Let’s make every day fatality free on our roads.

We remind NRMA Members to drive safely and take the Fatality Free Friday pledge today.

Fatality Free Friday (26 May 2017) is an initiative of the Australian Road Safety Foundation which calls for road users to make a promise to themselves, their family and friends to consciously drive safely and obey road rules.

New research released by the Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) highlights the irresponsible behaviour of drivers and those who sit idly by and allow it to happen.

The study shows that almost half of Australians do not ask speeding friends or family members to slow down.

Australian Road Safety Foundation CEO Russell White said that reducing the tragic loss of life on the roads can only stem from peer pressure and not from authorities dictating road laws.

“We need to create a culture where we call each other out on bad behaviour behind the wheel, instead of shuffling the responsibility onto others,” Mr White said.

“That’s what our Fatality Free Friday initiative is all about: educating road users on the individual role they play in reducing the devastating impact of road crashes.”

“Obviously nobody goes out looking to be in a road crash, but not everyone goes out deliberately looking to avoid one either, and that is evident every time someone speeds, takes a risk on the road, or uses their mobile phone,” he said.

Fridays remain one of the deadliest days of the week on Australian roads, accounting for 214 fatalities in 2016, or 16% of the total road toll.

“This Fatality Free Friday, we ask everyone to spare a thought for the loved ones left behind after a fatal road crash, for whom there are constant daily reminders – the letters that still arrive addressed to the person who lost their life, sitting in the mailbox as a cruel testament to the senseless loss that will forever leave its scar,” Mr White said.

“We urge every motorist, passenger, cyclist and pedestrian to pledge their support for Fatality Free Friday, because every decision made on or around the road can be the difference between life and death,” he said.

Road users are also able to make their road safety pledge by visiting www.fatalityfreefriday.com or on the Fatality Free Friday Facebook page.

Fatality Free Friday is run by the Australian Road Safety Foundation, a not for profit organisation established to reduce road trauma across Australia.

Will you take the pledge?

NRMA: False petrol price cycle another Sydney rip off

FUEL WARNING

FUEL WARNING

The NRMA has today slammed the major oil companies for forcing a false petrol price cycle on families, with prices falling five cents less than expected.

Average prices in Sydney are currently $1.29 cents per litre. They were expected to drop to $1.16 cents per litre last week but fell five cents short before spiking again to the current average price of $1.29.

In effect, prices in Sydney have missed the low-point of the cycle, robbing families of the chance to save at the bowser and further boosting the bottom line for oil companies who are failing to pass on falling wholesale fuel prices.

NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said prices were higher than they should and never fell as low as they should resulting in a hit to the hip pocket of Sydneysiders.

“We saw this behaviour at Christmas when the low-point of the cycle never happened and yet again, it was the major oil companies leading the false spike,” Mr Khoury said.
“We knew weeks ago prices should have been around $1.16 cents per litre at this stage of the petrol cycle.”

Following the petrol reforms in NSW and the launch of the NRMA App, which provides real-time prices for every service station in NSW, analysis of price movements and trends is now more comprehensive than ever before.

While average prices remain uncharacteristically high, the NRMA Fuel App has identified a number of Metro and Independent service stations that have yet again bucked the trend by selling regular unleaded from as little as $1.09 cents per litre – 20 cent below the average.

“Finding those service stations has never been easier now that we have the real-time price of every service station in NSW on the NRMA app. Fill up at these independent service stations because anyone over-charging clearly doesn’t deserve your business.”
The my nrma app is available to download for FREE.

Meet a few of the mothers that help NRMA Members every day

NRMA mothers helping MembersBeing an apprentice mechanic is hard work. Being a single mother is hard work. Combining the two is mind-boggling – but that’s what Monica does. And with four children at the age of 34, we can only applaud her commitment.

“I knew that my age was working against me and I knew that being a woman was going to work against me, but if you want to do something you keep trying until you get what you want”, she said.

“I’m a proud mum and even prouder that I’m working for the NRMA and showing my kids that you can be whatever you want – you just have to have a go.”

That’s the lesson she hopes her children will take from her example – and when the NRMA recently visited her children’s primary school to teach the kids about road safety, one of her 9 year old twins hopped up to boast about her mum being an apprentice mechanic for our car servicing business.

Monica NRMA car servcing

Monica is an apprentice mechanic and mother of four children.

It takes a special kind of workplace to make stories like this possible and aside from helping families to keep moving on their journeys, the NRMA has long believed in equality in the workplace and in supporting staff with families wherever possible.

“You only have to look at the female representation on the board and within the leadership team.” says Sam Taranto, Executive General Manager of Motoring at the NRMA and herself a mother of four.

“It’s not just a flexibility for women at work, it’s a flexibility for everybody to do what they have to do to manage their families – and that means people with older parents, people with small children, people with teenage children, grandparents helping look after grandkids … it’s not something we just say, family really matters within this organisation and we see it in practice all the time.”

When asked if being a mother impacts how she manages her team, Taranto said it makes her think deeply about whether the work environment is one she’d want for her own children’s first or second job.

“The obligation for us to make sure that the workplace is one that is a really positive experience for each employee is critical, particularly when we’re bringing in younger, more junior employees for their first or second job – that’s why we’ve got coaching and mentor programs in place to support younger employees,” she said.

Samantha Taranto NRMA

Sam Taranto is an Executive General Manager and mother of four.

For some mums, the NRMA is exactly the kind of place they want their children to work. After herself starting a role in our call centre, mother of three Sandra decided to pass her recently graduated daughter Phoebe’s resume on for consideration. Two years later and they’re both still working at the NRMA.

Sandra sees her team as somewhat of a second family, often working after hours to decorate her team area in different themes to help maintain staff morale.

“It’s not always about what you get out of it, it’s about making the whole work environment enjoyable, and whatever you give you’ll get back tenfold – that’s how I live my life and how I expect my kids to be as well,” she said.

Mother of two Belinda started working with the NRMA in Tumut back in 1998 when her father ran the local agency, which she now runs with her husband and their employees – including two other mothers.

“It’s a great company to work for and I think the fact that we do generally want to help people, I just like the idea of being able to help people and assist when they need it,” she said.

But Belinda’s association with the NRMA started long before being an employee.

“With my first car, I wasn’t allowed to drive out the driveway unless I had NRMA roadside available,” she said.

“It’s just something that was instilled into me as a young driver, and a lot of our Members now are bringing their kids in and making sure that they’re also covered when they’re out there on the road.”

If you head to the NRMA agency in Grenfell in the Central West of New South Wales, you might meet mother of three and grandmother to seven Val.

Not only does she help Members when they’re renewing or upgrading, she’s also there to help her husband Pete – the local NRMA patrol – and his occasionally stranded passengers.

One of Val’s stories took place a few years back on a long weekend: the local caravan park and motel were full, and Pete got called to a job at 2am.

A couple of hours later he woke Val asking if the spare beds were made up, because there were a young couple with two small kids that needed a place to stay until they could get their car repaired next day.

“If it involves old people or young kids, it’s just something you do because, you know, if you were stuck out there and you had little kids, you’d want someone to help you. That’s the attitude you get because you’re a mother,” she said.

“But I feel the same way if it’s oldies too, because my mum’s still alive, she’s 93, and I’d like to think if she’s stuck on the road, I would want someone to help her.”

This Mother’s Day, we take our hats off to all the mothers in our community and we hope everyone finds time to check in with family. Oh, and that goes especially for Val’s three kids, because according to her, “They’d be in big trouble if they don’t!”

Spoil Mum with an Event Cinema Mother’s Day package

Help in the palm of your hand – download the mynrma smartphone app