Australian Road Safety Foundation shines the spotlight on behaviour on NSW rural roads during Rural Road Safety Month

Shining the spotlight on poor driver behaviour on NSW rural roads

With rural road fatalities making up two thirds of the 2019 national road toll, new research has looked at dangerous driver behaviour and the importance of further education to save lives.

The Australian Road Safety Foundation (ARSF) released the data in light of the third annual Rural Road Safety Month, which runs throughout August.

Speed continues to be the leading risk motorists take on rural roads, while the top reason for increased risky behaviour on NSW rural roads was reduced traffic.

ARSF founder and chief executive Russell White said every driver must take ownership in reducing the rural death toll.

"Despite smaller population numbers, 835 people tragically lost their lives on regional roads last year, which shows that just one dangerous choice can have dire consequences," Mr White said.

"When it came to reasons for increasing risky behaviour on rural roads, not getting caught was the most common response and it was the most prevalent among regional drivers.

"We will continue to see an unnecessary loss of life in rural communities until we acknowledge that all road users have a personal responsibility to ensure safety is front of mind when behind the wheel."

The research also found Sydney drivers wrongly believe rural roads are safer than city streets and motorways.

Regional residents are also more likely to ride bicycles and scooters without a helmet or after consuming alcohol.

Rural Road Safety Month is a community-based awareness initiative that calls on motorists to jump in the driver's seat of regional road safety.