A HUGE campaign is being launched by Transport NSW to combat drink-driving.
State Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced the safety campaign yesterday which encourages people who go out drinking to choose a “plan B” and not get behind the wheel.
The campaign was developed after statistics revealed 71 people died on NSW roads last year and 1176 were injured after being involved in car crashes where the driver tested over the legal blood alcohol limit.
During 2011 in the northern region – which includes Tamworth, Armidale, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Lismore – there were 182 people injured and 13 people who died as a result of car crashes involving drink-drivers.
The number of people injured in the area encompassing our region was higher than in a number of other regions including: the south west, which encompasses Wagga Wagga and Mildura; the southern region, which covers Wollongong, Goulburn and Cooma; and the western region that includes Bathurst, Orange, Parkes, Dubbo and Broken Hill.
The rates of deaths as a result of drink-driving in the area covering our region was also higher.
Thirteen people died on roads as a result of drink-driving in the northern region – higher than the southern region where there were six; the Sydney region where there wwas also six deaths and on par with the south west where there were also 13.
The only places where there were more deaths as a result of drink-driving than in the north were in the Hunter – 14 people died there – and in the western region where 17 people died.
When announcing the campaign, which will begin to appear in 400 pubs and clubs across the state, Mr Gay said drink-driving was one of the biggest killers on our roads after speeding.
“Men make up 97 per cent of drink-drivers involved fatal crashes,” he said. “Despite the dangers, too many men in NSW continue to drink and drive, seemingly without considering the potentially deadly consequences.”
Mr Gay said although the Plan B campaign had been designed to reach all genders, it was primarily directed at young men.
“They feature strongly in the statistics,” he said. “We hope as a result of the campaign they will carry better habits into the future when they are planning to get home from a night out.
“People need to find another way to get home if they are going out drinking, the car is not an option but there are plenty of plan Bs.”
Plan B ads aired on TV for the first time last week.
Mr Gay said the campaign was not about telling people what to do.
“It’s about reminding them in a positive way about the alternative choices they have to driving,” Mr Gay said. “The message is straight forward, we don’t want people to drink drive because of the crash risk it poses to themselves and everyone else. There are plenty of plan b’s and the police are out there to help prevent further tragedy from drink- drivers by taking them off our roads.”