Road safety education should go beyond schools

EDUCATION: John Maher gives a presentation to year 11 students at Phoenix College about road safety after the death of his daughter Carmen. Picture: Adam Trafford

EDUCATION: John Maher gives a presentation to year 11 students at Phoenix College about road safety after the death of his daughter Carmen. Picture: Adam Trafford

Road safety education is needed for businesses not just schools, advocate John Maher says. 

While VicRoads road safety education is aimed at early childhood, primary and secondary schools, as is Victoria’s Road Safety Education Action Plan, Mr Maher says not enough is being done in regards to educating adults. 

“The schools in the Ballarat area are doing a great job in educating their students, but I think businesses in the area need to educate themselves and their employees in road safety,” he said. 

“Every one of their employees goes to work and comes home from work using the roads.”

Mr Maher knows just how important road safety is having been touched by the road toll twice just a few years apart.

The first was a crash that left him critically injured and killed the other driver, the second was the death of his daughter Carmen when she fell asleep at the wheel.

For the past two decades Mr Maher has been sharing Carmen’s story and been an active voice in the community when it comes to road safety and education. 

“The schools are amazing – I’ve spoken to every school in Ballarat this year and I would say that close to 5000 students have heard Carmen’s story this year,” Mr Maher said.

“But when a person who works at any business loses their life on the road, whether it’s during business hours or outside of business hours, it has an enormous effect on that business.

“And every person who loses their life on the roads has a massive effect on a family because they are all family members.” 

Mr Maher said he didn’t know of any businesses that brought a road safety presentation or education to their employees. 

“It’s about time that businesses got on board with this and instead of having seminars and conferences where you get sports people to give a talk, bring in the TAC or bring someone who does road safety talks because their employees are the ones using the roads on a daily basis.”

City of Ballarat infrastructure and environment director Terry Demeo said the council was a member of RoadSafe Central Highlands, which works to reduce road trauma through behavioural program focus areas such as speeding, driving under the influence, driver distractions and seatbelts.

VicRoads could not be reached before deadline.

The story Road safety for adults first appeared on The Courier.

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