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?

Think twice this Anzac long weekend

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Image courtesy of NSW Police Force Facebook

We remind motorists that double demerits apply for five days in NSW from Friday 21st April to Tuesday 25th of April 2017 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?

Can you participate in a driving habits study?

Car drivers are needed for Australia’s Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), being led by the University of New South Wales in collaboration with several other leading universities. This study is part-funded by the NRMA.

OPEN ROAD: Annually around 1,300 people die and 33,000 are seriously injured on Australian roads. Using a new research method, the Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), this study aims to provide Australia with answers to some significant road safety questions.

OPEN ROAD: Annually around 1,300 people die and 33,000 are seriously injured on Australian roads. Using a new research method, the Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS), this study aims to provide Australia with answers to some significant road safety questions.

The study aims to improve road safety in Australia by better understanding how people drive in normal and safety-critical situations.

For the study, 360 participant drivers will have their own vehicles equipped for four months with a compact data collection system that records their driving behaviour, the behaviour of their vehicle and their interactions with other road users. The equipment is designed so as not to damage the vehicle or interfere with normal operations of the vehicle.

All vehicles will be equipped with the data collection system at a designated installation site by qualified technicians in Sydney or Melbourne. During the installation process, participants will be invited to complete a series of questionnaires, two physical tests (grip strength and rapid walking) and some non-invasive vision tests.

After that, participants will drive their vehicle as they normally would and, after four months, complete an exit questionnaire and have the data collection equipment removed by a qualified technician.

Participants, who participate satisfactorily, will receive a $250 GiftPay Shopping vouchers, ($125 given at start of installation and $125 upon deinstallation of the equipment).

To be eligible for this study, participants need to:

  • ​be between 20 and 70 years of age;
  • hold a valid NSW or Victorian driver’s licence (full licence only);
  • be the registered owner or have permission from the registered owner of the vehicle you intend to drive;
  • reside in Sydney, regional NSW, Melbourne, or regional Victoria;
  • own a registered passenger vehicle (sedan, coupe, hatchback, station wagon, or sports utility vehicle/four-wheel drive) or have owner permission to use a registered passenger vehicle; and
  • drive at least 10 trips a week.

Interested? register for the study.

If you have any further questions, please visit www.a​nds.unsw.edu.au or contact ANDS@unsw.edu.au​. Thanks.

Australian Naturalistic Driving Study FAQs

Do you have Road Assist from The NRMA? Don’t get caught without it.

 

Do parents make good driving instructors?

Teenage Girl Learning How To Drive

“Do as I say not as I do” - Learner drivers are being exposed to both good and bad driving habits from their parent instructors.

Parents are teaching their children incorrect and potentially dangerous habits on the roads, according to a survey conducted by NRMA Driver Training.

Almost half (49 per cent) of the surveyed 415 learner drivers in NSW and the ACT identified that there were road rules that their instructor had made them aware of that their parents/supervising driver had not.

It also revealed that 30 per cent of respondents have had their parents/supervising driver teach them something that their instructor has claimed was wrong. The majority of these related to roundabouts – specifically when to indicate.

“Reverse parallel parking. Mum tried to teach me, but she doesn’t have a step by step method that she goes by, she just does it by feel. In this case this is what I needed as a learner.”

The survey also found learner drivers were being exposed to their parents’ bad habits, with the worst offending habits being:

  • Speeding (37%)
  • Not indicating (29%)
  • Mobile phone use (20%); and
  • Road rage (9%)

If you are keen on teaching your learner driver you may want to supplement your teachings and allow your learner to do a NSW Safer Drivers course that not only helps with getting 20 bonus logbook hours but also teaches important techniques on how to manage risks on the road.


Are you a good driving instructor or do you think you need to brush up on your driving skills before supervising your kids?

How to deal with sun glare while driving

Driving on a beautiful sunny day can provide the perfect backdrop, but it can also cause hazardous conditions if the driver’s view is obstructed by the glaring sun.

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GLARING ISSUE: How do you cope with the sun’s glare while driving?

Sun glare can be experienced throughout the day, although it’s more common in peak hour times, especially around sunrise and sunset.

These conditions reduce visibility making it harder to see the road ahead or any potential hazards, which can create added risks for drivers.

Here are some tips when driving in sunny conditions:

Give yourself some space
When the sun is in your eyes it can be hard to see what the car ahead is doing. Slow down if you need to and leave some space between you and the next vehicle.

Turn your headlights on 
Turning on your headlights also helps to improve the visibility of your vehicle by other road users.

Invest in a pair of decent sunglasses
Look for a lens category of at least 2 or preferably 3. Category 3 lenses provide a good level of UV protection and a high level of sun glare reduction.

Driving Tint
If you use prescription glasses to improve your eyesight, consider additional lens treatments from Specsavers such as Driving Tint and Drivewear which help to improve contrast and sharpens vision behind the wheel.

Keep your windscreen clean
A dirty or dusty windscreen can make vision worse so it’s important to clean before the trip. Don’t forget to also keep an eye on your wiper blades (see video from NRMA car servicing below) and replace if they begin to streak as this can make visibility worse.

Use your sun visor
The sun visor is designed to keep the sun out of the driver’s and passenger’s eyes. They were introduced in 1924 on the Ford Model T and now come standard on most vehicles.

Making some of these adjustments will help minimise risk during less than perfect visual conditions.

NRMA Members who need advice on all things motoring can call NRMA’s Motoring Advice line on 13 11 22 from Monday to Friday between 8:30am and 5pm.