Road Safety Program
The Road Safety Officer serving the Cootamundra Shire is Michelle Doolan. Michelle is based in Temora but spends at least one day in each week at West Wyalong and Cootamundra.
The Road Safety Officer is responsible for:
· the development and implementation of each Council's Road Safety Strategic and Action Plans
· the facilitation of the Local Government Road Safety program in each Council, fostering existing partnerships and encouraging wider community ownership and participation in road safety issues
· the development, co-ordination and implementation of local and contribution towards state-wide and regional road initiatives
· liaison with local community (including service providers, local stakeholders, groups and individuals) to develop and deliver road safety messages
· liaison with local and state government agencies and peak representative bodies, the media and educational establishments in order to develop a platform for delivering the road safety message
· meeting, reporting, monitoring, evaluation and budget management requirements according to the Program Agreement between each Council (the employer) and the Roads and Traffic Authority (funding client).
Obviously the role of each RSO is to enhance and support the State Governments plan Road Safety 2015, with the 3 key areas being:
Ø Safer people
Ø Safer roads
Ø Safer vehicles
The RSO, NSW Police, RTA and local governments will endeavour to implement initiatives and improve road safety at a local level by promoting greater involvement and better coordination with all road safety stakeholders.
Behavioural issues such as speeding, drink driving, driver fatigue, non-use of restraints, driver licensing and road safety education programs will be addressed under the banner of Safer People.
A major step is providing safer roads has been the introduction of lower speed environments. All urban areas are zoned as 50 km/h.
Road design in the future will increasingly focus on the safety of all users with the needs of high risk users such as pedestrians and cyclists being recognised.
Road Safety Audits will also be carried out on new roads and improvements to existing roads, safety hazards will be identified and eliminated.
Other issues identified and addressed by RSO's are:
ü Safety around Schools
ü Rural School Bus Safety
ü 40 km/h speed zones
ü Pedestrian Safety
ü Special Mobility Vehicles, Older Drivers
ü Child Restraints
Motorised wheelchairs in Cootamundra.
Cootamundra Shire Council residents would be aware of the marked increase in the use of motorised wheelchair in the township of Cootamundra.
Only people with a disability that substantially impairs their mobility can, by law, use a motorised wheelchair. A motorised wheelchair user is considered a pedestrian under the Australian Road Rules.
If you use a motorised wheelchair or “gopher – scooter” or have a friend or relative that operates one please note that these are some of the situations that users be aware of and should avoid.
Ø Speeding on footpaths,
Ø Travelling too close to shop front and doorways in the main CBD
Ø Not complying with the road rules which relate to pedestrians.
Some of these rules are;
A person who operates a special mobility vehicle that cannot travel over 10 km/h (on level ground) is defined as a pedestrian.
• must not travel along a road if there is a footpath or nature strip adjacent to the road, unless it is impracticable to travel on the footpath or the nature strip.
• travelling along a road must keep as far to the right side of the road as is practicable and must not be in the traffic lane
• when crossing the road, must cross by the shortest safe route and must not stay on the road longer than necessary.
Prior to purchase of a motorised wheelchair it is advisable to undertake an assessment of your ability to operate a special mobility vehicle. People who may be able to assist in providing this assessment include:
o Occupational Therapist
o Community Health Workers
All special mobility users are reminded that it is their obligation to safely SHARE the road and footpaths with other users.
Cootamundra Shire Council’s Road Safety Officer conducts bi-annual workshops that provide information on the legal rights and responsibilities according to the Australian Road Rules, the skills and abilities needed to operate a Special Mobility Vehicle and the safe operation of a Special Mobility Vehicle.
If you need information or have any safety concerns regarding the use or misuse of a motorised wheelchair please do not hesitate to contact the Road Safety Officer, Michelle Doolan by calling 0437 398 314
Please do not hesitate to contact your RSO or Council for any obvious road safety problems.