Decade of partnership

Circular Head Community Road Safety Partnerships committee members including (from left) Deb Mainwaring, Sonia Nicholson, Noelene O’Halloran, Anne Shepherd, Nakore Townsend, Sheryl Robson and Sam Lees joined with the wider community to mark 10 years since the road safety program was officially launched. Pictures: Ashleigh Force.

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Milestone. The Circular Head Community Road Safety Partnership has marked 10 years.

The group has made driver education a priority throughout the past decade in response to the region’s shocking statistics.

Between February 2009 and January 2010, Circular Head recorded 14 per cent of fatal road crashes on Tasmanian roads despite representing just 1.7 per cent of the state’s population.

In 2007, support was sought from community members to establish a Memorandum of Understanding with the then Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources to join the statewide program.

On July 10, 2008 the local program was officially launched by Circular Head Council in partnership with Wells Waggons, Smithton Lions Club, Rotary Club of Smithton, Senior Citizens’ Club, Circular Head Aboriginal Corporation, Tasmania Police, Parks and Wildlife Service, State Emergency Service, Smithton LINC, Circular Head Youth Leaders and the wider community.

On Tuesday, stakeholders gathered at Circular Head Community and Recreation Centre to mark the 10 year milestone.

“We’ve had members come and go but the core group has remained stable and been committed to the program,” said founding committee member Deb Mainwaring at the event. 

“The committee recognises that it is an ongoing challenge to keep road safety messages relevant and timely to improve driver behaviour and to continue to promote that road safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Over the years the program has implemented and supported various projects including the Look Out, Think Ahead and Look Out for Your Mates campaigns, CHAC’s Strive to Drive program, Smithton LINC’s Learner Driver Assistance Program, Rotary Club of Smithton’s Young Driver Awareness Program and Keys to Ps.

The committee has implemented incentive programs, encouraging positive relationships between young motorists and law enforcement, has promoted road safety message on electronic signage displayed throughout the region and has supported the Smithton Lions Club’s late night food van, aimed at deterring motorists from driving under the influence for takeaway.

Since the success of these programs, the statistics have been reduced to represent a shadow of past statistics however ongoing awareness and education remains a priority.

“We still need to address those issues,” says Deb.

“Driver behaviour is still the most important thing and will continue to be in the years to come.”

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