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Road Safety

Council is committed to educating the community on road safety to reduce local crashes and improve driver and passenger safety.

Road Safety Enquiry

If you have any questions or enquires regarding road safety, please send them to Council's Road Safety Officer using the Compliments and Complaints form or email your comment to rso@cumberland.nsw.gov.au

Be sure to include your name and phone number so we can send you a reply.

Road Safety Information

Road Safety

The Local Government Road Safety Program is one of the actions in the new Road Safety Plan 2021 as the continued commitment of the NSW Government.

The Plan aims to meet the Government’s targets for reducing deaths and serious injuries and to move NSW towards a long-term aspirational goal of zero road trauma.

Almost half of New South Wales road trauma occurs on local roads.

In the five years between 2012 and 2016, 27 people were killed and 1,322 were seriously injured on roads in the Cumberland Council Local Government Area, at an estimated cost to the community of over $508 million.

63% of casualty crashes in the Cumberland Council Local Government Area occur on local roads.

Drivers who reside within Cumberland LGA were involved in 2,264 crashes within Sydney region, (2016). This included 952 crashes within Cumberland (42%) and a further 1,312 elsewhere within Sydney region (58%).

Crash data show fatalities and total number of casualties in uptrend although the total number of crashes is in a down trend (2016).

Speed

Speeding was a factor in 5.5% of all crashes and 6.8% of all casualties in Cumberland LGA in 2016.

In NSW speed is a factor to about 40 per cent of road fatalities.

Current crash data for Cumberland Council show number of speed related crashes in a down trend.

Over the three year period, 2014-2016, the largest number of crashes occurred on roads with speed limit of 50 km/h (45.7%); 9.1% of that was marked as excessive speed causing a crash

If you are travelling just a couple of kilometres per hour over the speed limit, the risk of injuring someone increases dramatically. While speeding may not be the primary cause of all crashes, its influence may help instigate a crash, or worsen the outcome.

Speeding is not just an issue of exceeding the speed limit. It also includes driving at speeds inappropriate for the conditions, even well below the speed limit.

All Australian States have introduced a 50 km/h urban speed limit to reduce injuries and deaths caused by speeding. Research shows that a car travelling at 50 km/h has a stopping distance 10 m shorter than a car travelling at 60 km/h. This is enough to save a life or avoid serious injury.

Higher speeds also greatly increase impact forces and therefore increase the likelihood of injury and death.

Urban speed limit within Cumberland Council is 50 km/h unless signposted otherwise.

The lower speed limit in Cumberland area is 40km/h in school zones and on streets with high pedestrian numbers including the city centres.

A 50km/h speed limit has been shown to have only a marginal impact on travel times in built-up areas.

Courtesy speed checks will be set up in streets across Cumberland LGA where speeding has been identified as a problem. This is a setup you might have already seen on our roads. The electronic displays board which is connected to a radar unit displays the speed you are driving. A courtesy sign in front of the unit presents a speed limit on that section of the road. The Council's courtesy speed check display is not intended to book drivers, but will remind you to watch your speed and obey the speed limit. Pay attention to your speed because Police will be enforcing the speed limit after Council's courtesy speed check equipment has been used.

Remember that speeding can result in loss of licence, serious injury or can have fatal consequences.

Following Distance

Data for Sydney Region shows that 27% of crashes are from a rear end - more than half of these crashes result in injury.

To be more specific, over the last three years in Sydney there were 15,031 rear-end crashes which resulted in 14 fatalities and 9,845 injuries.

In Cumberland Local Government area every fourth crash was from the rear end 28% and 69% rear end crashes resulted in injury. Young drivers have been involved in almost every fourth rear end crash 23%.

Most of these crashes could have been avoided had a 3 SECOND GAP been maintained!

Reaction distance and braking distance

When you see the brake lights of the car in front come on, you hit the brake to slow your car down...but in actual fact, there is a small time delay before you do that - your reaction time.

During that period of time, your car is still moving at the same speed out of your control. The faster you are going, the further you will travel during this time.

So your total stopping distance is actually made up of your reaction distance and the distance it takes for your car to stop once you've pressed the brake.

The biggest factor in stopping distances is the speed at which a driver reacts to seeing a hazard - Driver Reaction Time

Response speed depends on several factors thus there is no single, universal reaction time value.

Factors that affect reaction time are: expectation, urgency, mental load, psychological refractory period, age, nature of the signal, visibility, response complexity, time of the day.

Braking time and distance depends on factors such as: the type of braking system, brake pad material, brake alignment, tyre pressure, tread and grip, vehicle weight, suspension system, the coefficient of friction of the road surface, wind speed, slope of road, surface smoothness, the braking technique applied by the driver, weather conditions.

Stopping distances vary according to driver conditions, road and weather conditions and vehicle conditions.
 

Drivers need to recognise that:

No matter how good driver you think you are and how good your car is, the difference between driving at the speed limit and a few km/h over the limit will result in a much longer stopping distance. That could result in fatal consequences.

Please note that DOUBLING THE SPEED OF A CAR INCREASES BRAKING DISTANCE BY FOUR TIMES!

The 3 Second Rule

To avoid rear end crashes you should maintain a 3 second gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you.

For more information, download the Following Distance fact sheet (PDF, 222.18 KB).


The 3 Second Rule Video

Seatbelts and Child Restraints

As a part of Local Government Road Safety Program Cumberland Council is running FREE child restraint check and installation for our residents.

The Voucher scheme involves two RMS Authorised Restraint Fitters.
Please call one of them to make an appointment:

As Snug as a Bug
Operates at Auburn Hospital, Phone: 9621 2199

Tyres and More
1 Hilltop Rd, Merrylands, Phone: 9635 8735

Conditions of use: Resident has to be resident of Cumberland Council LGA, Customer agrees to participate in survey about this service if called. Cumberland Council guarantee the full privacy of your details.

Wearing a seatbelt

  • Prevent ejection from the vehicle.
  • Reduce contact with the interior of your car.
  • Decrease the time for an occupant to stop moving forward on impact.
  • Spread the impact force by spreading it over a larger area of your body.
  • Seat belts work together with air bags to protect occupants. Air bags alone are not enough to safeguard occupants.

By law, all occupants of a motor vehicle must wear seat belts when it is in motion or is stationary but not while it is parked.

A person must not occupy a seat without a seat belt if other seats with a seat belt are unoccupied.

The driver of a car is responsible for ensuring that (where restraints are available) his/her and passengers seat belts are correctly fastened and adjusted and to ensure that children are correctly restrained.

If you are a passenger you have to correctly fasten and adjust your seat belt . You need to encourage all other occupants of the vehicle to buckle up also. There are very tough penalties for not wearing a restraint.

The only time a passenger or driver will not receive a fine for not wearing a seatbelt is in the case of a pregnant woman who has a certificate signed by a doctor providing medical reasons for not wearing a seat belt. It is obviously safer for the woman to wear a seatbelt if possible as it will protect both the mother and unborn child.

Child restraints

A child who is not secured by an approved restraint is at risk of serious injury in even a minor crash.

The forces inside a car when stopping quickly from a speed of 60 km/h is equivalent to falling from a fourth floor or window. It is not possible to hold onto a child on your lap, no matter how tight you hold them.

Having your child safely belted into a restraint that is suitable for their size and weight in a rear seat of your vehicle, is paramount at all times. You should not put a child in a front seat. The law requires that a child must be correctly restrained.

How to select the right restraint

When fitting a restraint it should be according to your child's size and weight - their age is only an indication.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions with each type and be careful not to move your child to the next type of restraint if they are not big enough.

Only purchase and use a restraint carrying the Standards Australia AS/NZS 1754 sticker.

Try different restraints in your car to see how they fit before you buy. Not all restraints are suitable for all cars.

Only use a second-hand restraint if you are sure it has not been involved in a crash, it’s in good condition and less than 10 years old. Check for obvious signs of wear on the straps. If the plastic shell or buckle is cracked or broken or powdering of the plastic shell is occurring do not use it. Make sure the buckle and adjusters are working.

Installing the restraint

Approximately 70% of child restraints are not installed correctly. A child restraint that has not been fitted properly can result in serious injury or even the death of a child in a crash.

The restraint should be fitted by a restraint fitter. If you install it yourself, you should have it checked before placing your child in the car.

RMS has set up a network of Restraint Fitting Stations to help with installation of child restraints. For a small charge, a trained installer can fit your restraint or check it to ensure it is installed correctly. It can also make necessary modifications that may be required, in order to fit restraints into vehicles not equipped with an anchor point.

Using the restraint safely

The child restraint usage rate in Australia is over 95%, but misuse is a significant problem. Some form of misuse is commonly involved in cases where restrained children are injured.

  • It is essential that child restraints are used in the way they were designed.
  • The safest position to carry a child is the centre position of the rear seat.
  • Check that the top tether strap is firmly connected to the anchor point every the restraint is used.
  • Make sure there are no twists in any straps or belts and that they are taut and firm.
  • Always set a good example for children and use a seatbelt every time you are in the car.
  • Ensure that when moving a restraint between vehicles it is fitted properly.
  • Always keep the instructions that came with the restraint in the glove box, so you can easily refit the restraint again.

In a station wagon, hatchback or van, make sure luggage or other items don't interfere with the restraint strap and that a cargo barrier has been installed.

Learner Driver Workshop

We hold free workshops for parents or carers who supervise Learner drivers.

The next Learner Driver workshop will be held Thursday 7 November from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Workshops cover the following topics:

  • How the NSW graduated licensing scheme works.
  • What is involved in being a supervising driver.
  • How to complete the learner drivers log book.
  • Low-risk driving.
  • The use of licensed driving instructors, and
  • Practical tips for teaching and supervising a learner driver with up-to-date information on the requirements for Learner Drivers.

Following the workshop an opportunity will be provided to ask and have your road safety questions answered.

School Safety

School zones are designed and marked to protect children on their way to and from schools where they are often in high numbers.

Speed limit reduces the risk and potential severity of a crash. School zone are marked by signs, dragon’s teeth road markings and flashing lights to improve the visibility of school zones.

Most school zones operate from 8am to 9.30am and from 2.30pm to 4pm. However, there are a small number of non-standard school zone times in NSW, which are identified by red/orange school zone signs showing the times when school operate.

Motorists must drive no faster than 40 km/h through school zones. Increased fines and demerit points apply for speeding, illegal use of mobile phones and parking.

Drop-off and Pick-up initiative

Also called “Kiss and Ride” or “Kiss and Drop” initiative that provides a designated zone at a school access point for drivers to stop and drop off or pick up their children. It relieves traffic congestion around the school by ensuring cars do not park illegally by providing adult supervision for students being dropped off and picked up from school by car.

Road Safety Resources for Schools

Cumberland Council provides free corflute signs to schools within our Local Government Area to raise road safety awareness in school zones.

The signs are 1200 x 600 mm in size and are designed to target illegal driving within the school zones.

To order the signs, complete the School Zone Signs order form (PDF, 1.44 MB)

School Safety Survey

To help improve the roads around your school, you can complete and submit a School Safety Online Survey (PDF, 172.57 KB)

Road Safety Fact Sheets