Notice to Members – Change of AuditorsDecember 15, 2023
News & Media: 2023 Year in ReviewDecember 22, 2023
AMA (NSW) has joined with Road Trauma Support Group NSW, along with parents who have lost children in road crashes to urge everyone to speak up and step in to save lives on our roads this holiday season.
AMA (NSW) President Dr Michael Bonning said “Driving behaviour is a key contributing factor to deaths on our roads. Every day drivers make decisions that can have fatal consequences for themselves or others.”
“Firstly, we are asking every driver to consider their own behaviour, and to act responsibly behind the wheel, but also, we are urging everyone to speak up and step in before fatal consequences occur.”
“It’s no time to be shy or polite. Step in and potentially save not only the life of the driver but the lives of their passengers or those in other vehicles they may intersect with.”
Circumstances in which you could speak up and/or step in are;
When you suspect someone has consumed drugs or excessive alcohol
When you suspect someone is too tired to drive
If you are a passenger in a car with a driver who has taken drugs or had too much to drink
If you are a passenger in a car with a driver who is texting or distracted in other ways
If you are a passenger in a car with a driver who is speeding or driving erratically
If you are offered a lift by someone who you believe is impaired
A study by the Road Trauma Support Group NSW found that 8% of NSW residents and 12% of regional NSW residents believe it’s okay to get a lift with someone who shouldn’t be driving if that’s their only way to get home.
The same study showed that 7% of NSW residents and 15% of regional NSW residents believe it’s acceptable to drive after drinking.
Duncan Wakes-Miller, Co-Founder of the Road Trauma Support Group NSW, emphasises the need for all Australians to adopt the motto Speak up and step in.
“I believe that any form of dangerous or impaired driving, posing a threat to life, should be seen as totally socially unacceptable, paralleling the shift in attitudes towards domestic violence and one punch offences.”
“My 17-year old-son got in a car with a young man who’d been drinking. It was the worst decision he ever made. Barney died after the P-plate driver drove at more than 30km over the limit and slammed into a sandstone wall.” Mr Wakes-Miller said.
“Parents, I beg you to urge not only your children but your friends and colleagues to have the courage to speak up and refuse to get into a car with a drink driver, to speak up and tell their friends to stop speeding or texting while driving, to step in and stop someone from getting behind the wheel if they are impaired.”
Christmas is a particularly difficult time for Katie Dokmanovic. Her 18-year-old son Nicholas Hoenslaars died on Christmas Eve 2020 after the car he was an innocent passenger in crashed into a power pole at high speed.
“I wish Nicholas had never got in that car or had been able to persuade the driver to stop. If he had, then maybe he’d still be here.” Katie said.
AMA (NSW) President Dr Michael Bonning said “Despite all the measures that have been put in place the state’s death toll is not going down. Tragically, this year NSW has the highest road fatality rate since 2017 and without greater action could exceed it.”
In 2017 351 people died on our roads. So far this year the death toll is 338 (please confirm before airing/publishing).
“We need to take every step to address these disturbing figures, remembering each figure refers to a human being no longer with us, and a web of family and friends left with a lifetime of grief.” Dr Bonning said.
“If that includes confronting friends, family, colleagues or even strangers to potentially save their lives or the lives of others, then it’s something we should have the courage to do.” Mr Wakes-Miller added.
Available for interview;
Dr Michael Bonning, AMA (NSW) President
Duncan Wakes-Miller, bereaved parent, Road Trauma Support Group NSW Co-Founder
Katie Dokmanovic, bereaved parent and member of the Road Trauma Support Group NSW
Media contact: Rahni Sadler 0438 777 144
Road Trauma Support Group NSW is the voice of families of road trauma and an active advocate for safer roads for all.
Support for families impacted by the death of a loved one due to criminal acts of another road user is available through Road Trauma Support Group on 1800 808 384 or https://www.roadtraumasupportnsw.org/