Transport for NSW has teamed up with the NSW State of Origin Team and some of the biggest names in rugby league to launch the 2019 Knock-on Effect Community Partnership in a bid to tackle road deaths and serious injuries across NSW.
The campaign is spearheaded by Bryden Lawyers NSW Blues advisor Greg Alexander and coach Brad Fittler who were both personally affected by a road death tragedy after Ben Alexander was killed in a car accident in 1992.
“There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about Ben,” Alexander said.
“He was far from the reckless type but he made one reckless decision that cost him his life.
“It had a devastating effect on me, my family, Ben’s friends and the community.”
As part of Transport NSW’s contract renewal with Rugby NSW until 2021, the NSW squad will visit high schools across Sydney to speak about road safety and highlight that every decision made on the road matters – whether you’re the driver or a passenger.
Executive Director of the Centres for Road Safety and Maritime Safety, Bernard Carlon, said the road safety partnership with NSW Rugby League is designed to tap into rugby league’s huge popularity across the state to deliver important road safety messages at a local level.
“Every 41 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on NSW roads. That’s about the time it takes to watch half a game of football,” Mr Carlon said.
“Speeding remains the main cause of death and injuries on our roads, contributing to about 39 per cent of NSW road fatalities and more than 2,300 crashes injuring people last year, with driving tired and alcohol also playing a part in deaths and injuries on our roads.
“The road is no place for excuses and we are asking everyone – drivers, riders, passengers and pedestrians – to think about the consequences of their actions.”
Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues Coach, Brad Fittler, said he knows first-hand how profound the impact a single decision on the road can have on an entire community.
“Too many people are dying or being seriously injured on our roads and it’s having a devastating ‘knock-on effect’ on families and local communities,” Mr Fittler said.
“The Knock-On Effect partnership is about getting the players out into communities to talk to people face to face about what is happening on their roads, in their communities, and how we can work together to make the right decisions on our roads.”
NSWRL Head of Commercial and Digital Jodie Cross said, “NSW Rugby League values our partnership with Transport for NSW as we believe Rugby League is a powerful platform to deliver important road safety messaging in the community.
“The popularity of the NSW Blues enables us to engage with a vast audience across NSW.”
Greg Alexander and Brad Fittler also launched a new video, sharing their personal stories about the tragic road death of Alexander’s brother Ben in 1992.
The video highlights the tragic impact of the crash on their families and the football community.
The video can be viewed here.