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The History of Fatality Free Friday

Road Safety is a global issue that ranks as one of the most pressing matters facing society today. The social, economic and emotional costs are immense and these figures are poised to increase unless something is done, NOW.

Whilst advances in road design and vehicle safety have no doubt made a significant contribution to road safety, it is clear that a vital piece of the puzzle is still missing because the fatalities continue.

Fatality Free Friday represents a fresh approach in dealing with what is a complex issue. The day is an annual event designed to focus public attention on road safety and encourage all road users to think and drive safely.

The first Fatality Free Friday was held in Australia on 27 April 2007, coinciding with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week. The first international Fatality Free Friday took place in Las Vegas on 25 May 2007.

Our goal is to ensure that there are no road crash fatalities around Australia during the day and prompt road users to behave more safely every day. It is a call to action that serves as a platform for a targeted and ongoing approach to road safety. The campaign facilitates this via media and community involvement. You can make a difference.

The History Of Road Safety

The concern regarding Road Safety is well documented.

It is possibly best summarised in a report tabled by the Select Committee of the House of Lords in London, it reads:

The holocaust on the roads today is nothing short of appalling but it seems to be comprehended by the public in general with complacency. To achieve even a reduction in the number of road accidents raises issues of great complexity. The most important factors are the education of all road-users in road behaviour and segregation of road users – motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

It is clear that this statement identified the real core of the issue. However, you may find it interesting to know that these words were spoken back in 1939. One could argue that the situation hasn’t changed much since then.

Currently, around 1.2 million people are killed each year in road crashes around the world. That equates to more than 3000 people a week. In Australia the road toll is around 1600 to 1700 road fatalities and for every death approximately 10 people are injured. These figures are shocking and highlight the need for urgent action. This situation is not acceptable and the road toll should not be accepted as inevitable.