National Road Safety Week is marked in May every year. It’s all about ‘preventing deaths and serious injuries … every time you drive.’
In Tasmania during 2022, 51 people died and 263 people sustained serious injuries on our roads. And in 2023, the number of fatal and serious crashes is, sadly, up by around 30%*.
At ParaQuad Tasmania we know that people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices are particularly vulnerable in shared public spaces like roads and footpaths. All too often we hear of incidents and near misses.
So, we’re asking that special thought be given to these members of our community.
To try to minimise harm, ParaQuad Tasmania would like road users to remember:
-Visibility – people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices (who are considered pedestrians) can be harder to see than other road users and
-Mobility – they can’t easily speed up to avoid collision
-Respect – footpath users, including people who use push bikes and e-scooters as well as pedestrians on foot, should share the space respectfully
People who use wheelchairs or mobility scooters can help maintain their own safety by following these steps:
-Maintaining visibility, wear light coloured clothing
-Use footpaths where available and cross at designated sites
-Keep speed to 10km/hr max
For more tips, including handling kerbs, watch this video.
Find tips on electric wheelchair use and safety in this video .
ParaQuad Tasmania runs community programs that deliver safety messages. One of these is Wheelie Safe Tips & Tricks, for users of wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Another is the BodySafe Education program, which is delivered to high school students and focuses on mitigating risk of injury.
Find more information and safety messages about National Road Safety Week here.
And in Tasmania, the Road Safety Advisory Council (RSAC) is running a campaign called ‘Road Safety Starts With Me’.
ParaQuad Tasmania shares the RSAC’s vision of zero deaths and serious injuries and hopes everyone can play their part in working towards this.
Please think about other road users, every time you get behind the wheel.
National Road Safety Week is an annual initiative from the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group, partnering road safety organisations and Government. The week highlights the impact of road trauma and ways to reduce it.
*Statistics from Tasmania’s National Road Safety Advisory Council.