Submission: Reducing trauma on local roads in NSW

NSW Parliamentary Inquiry: Reducing trauma on local roads in NSW (due 3 Feb).

WalkSydney is a community advocacy group for pedestrians and we want to see real and immediate action to make walking safer, easier and more pleasant.

In 2018 the Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy made 12 recommendations to improve road safety and Recommendation 8 is ‘Accelerate the adoption of speed management initiatives that support harm elimination.’

NSW has set a target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads by 2056 and to achieve this immediate action is needed to reduce road speeds in cities and regional centres.

Pedestrians make up 17 per cent of NSW fatalities and 9 per cent of all serious injuries (Road Safety Plan 2021). Most of these casualties occur on urban streets (Road Safety Plan 2021) and if NSW is serious about the target of zero reduced speeds are needed, supported by better use of traffic signals, more enforcement and street designs which put people first
instead of cars.

  1. A combination of slow-speed traffic signal progression and short signal cycles needs to be applied throughout the Greater Sydney area.
  2. Leading Pedestrian Intervals should be applied to all relevant signalised intersections in Greater Sydney and regional centres along with increased pedestrian crossing time.
  3. More speed enforcement cameras and red-light running cameras need to be installed.
  4. The NSW Speed Zoning Guidelines should be revised to outline 30km/hour speed limits in residential streets and popular locations.
  5. The Warrants and Technical Directions created by former roads authorities need to be updated in accordance with international best practice and with input from urban designers instead of just traffic engineers.
  6. Ongoing funding for Local Government is needed to implement slow-speed designs in local streets.

The NSW population is set to increase to 12 million people by 2056 and freight volumes are estimated to double in Sydney (Future Transport Strategy 2056). With more people and vehicles moving around, serious action must be taken to reduce death and injury on our streets.

Lower speeds limits with improved street designs as well as adjustments to traffic signals and more risk-based enforcement are needed and WalkSydney urges the committee to recommend much-needed actions to reduce speeds and improve street safety.