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?

NSW School Zones remain in operation until Friday

STAY ALERT: School Zones play a critical role in making sure  kids have a safe and happy start to the school holidays.

STAY ALERT: School Zones play a critical role in making sure kids have a safe and happy commute to and from school.

School zones in New South Wales will remain in operation until Friday afternoon this week (Friday 7 April).  Remember to slow down and stick to the 40km/h school zone speed limit.

Most school zones operate from 8:00am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm on gazetted school days in NSW and from 8am to 4pm in the ACT.

Notified school days 2017
Term 2 (Eastern and Western Divisions NSW) Monday 24 April to Friday 30 June (inclusive)
Term 3 (Eastern andWestern DivisionsNSW) Monday 17 July to Friday 22 September (inclusive)
Term 4 (Eastern andWestern DivisionsNSW) Monday 9 October to Tuesday 19 December (inclusive)

Dates above include school development days (also known as student-free days), when sc

The 40km/h school speed zones operate across NSW and ACT at all school sites on gazetted school days (including school development days). Motorists should drive no faster than 40km/h through school zones.

School zones operate and are enforced on pupil free days because pupil free days can vary from school to school. Consistent operation of school zones aims to reduce driver confusion, which improves the safety of school children.

There are a small number of non-standard school zone times in NSW and ACT. They are identified by red/orange school zone signs to show non-standard times. Signs at these schools show the times that apply. Do you find it difficult to keep up with school zone operating times?

Do you have roadside assistance from The NRMA? Don’t get caught without it.

The best driving songs

Best driving songs

BAD CHOICE, BABE: Does your partner play horrible music in the car?

Good music is as important to driving as fuel and inflated tyres. What classifies as good music is, however, subjective and undoubtedly results is passionate debate between driver, passengers and people of different generations.

I certainly struggle to imagine my old man singing along to Rihanna’s Shut Up and Drive, and I can’t picture someone on their P Plates turning up the volume to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama or Take It Easy by the Eagles.

Different tastes lead to different cars and different tunes that come from their speakers.

Then there’s the distance and scenery. Does a drive along the Great Ocean Road call for different beats than the ones suited to a quick run through Sydney’s CBD?

Here’s our list, and as you can see it’s quite a mix.

Life Is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
California – Phantom Planet
Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
I’m on Fire – Bruce Springsteen
Jump – Van Halen
Return of the Mack – Mark Morrison
Back In Black – ACDC
Song 2 – Blur
Black Fingernails, Red Wine – Eskimo Joe
Born To be Wild – Steppenwolf
Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
Radar Love – Golden Earring
Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
Shut Up and Drive – Rihanna

For our new ad campaign, a reimagined version of The Proclaimers 1988 song I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) felt just right. We love Sydney artist Alana Patmore’s version and think you will too, so we are giving free downloads of the full track to the first 5,000 people.

Whatever your taste, enjoy your music but don’t let it distract you from the dangers of the road.

Related: Driver distractions to be aware of
Related: Download the my nrma app

What songs are your picks to drive to? Let the debate begin.