A road safety lobby group has come under fire for championing an initiative that places life-size images of children on council’s wheelie bins.
The Australian Road Safety Federation has extended the initiative which it hopes will see a reduction in the number of deaths and injuries in pedestrians.
“Between January and May this year 67 pedestrians were killed on Australian roads. If trends continue the number could reach or even exceed last year’s number of 165,” federation CEO Russell White said.
The large stickers, which feature life-size images of children stepping towards the road and speed limit signs, are designed to provide a strong visual road safety reminder to motorists.
The images are based on research which found that signs that depicted motion, resulted in faster reaction times and increased vigilance among would-be drivers, which could ultimately lead to faster stopping times.
But Port Macquarie-Hastings Council director Jeffery Sharp said the campaign is not endorsed by council.
“Any road safety marketing campaigns from council form part of the NSW Road Safety Program administered by the Roads and Maritime Services. Ultimately, road safety marketing campaigns are the responsibility of the Centre for Road Safety and Roads and Maritime Services.”
Mr Sharp said council supports the need to protect all road users and the need to educate road users of the danger of speeding.
“However, the placing of material on council bins is not an approved use and the placement of articles that can be construed as regulatory signage may be deemed illegal,” he added.
Mr White said over 5000 of the stickers have been distributed in other Australian states and applied to wheelie bins.
“The ‘Life Saving’ sticker campaign provides a real-time reminder to motorists to reduce their speed,” he said.
Of the 67 pedestrians killed so far this year, seven were under 16 years of age.
The Australian Road Safety Foundation launched the initiative in Queensland earlier this year as an education program. It makes the life-size stickers available at cost, $10 each, plus postage.
To find out more about the stickers contact the ARSF on 1300 723 843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org