Every year more than 1200 people are killed and another 40,000 seriously injured on Australian roads. Traffic injury is the biggest killer of Australian children under 15 and the second-biggest killer of all Australians aged between 15 and 24. Most importantly, it is preventable.
National Road Safety Week is an annual initiative created by the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group and is supported by Governments, road safety organisations and businesses across the country, the Road Safety Commission included. Commonwealth, State and Local Governments in partnership with road safety organisations, campaigners and businesses will shine a light on this deadly issue with events, safety meetings, memorials and displays of yellow ribbons honouring those we have lost and pledging to make the roads safer for everyone.
As part of the WA activity, Initiative media partnered with Evoke to build a bespoke representation of the road trauma victims – placing 10 crosses into UWA, Forrest Place and Bunbury. The two yellow crosses represent the 160+ people killed on WA roads each year. People were asked to pledge their commitment to safer driving by placing a yellow sticker on the crosses.
Cameron Mack from Initiative media said: “Road Safety chartered Initiative to promote this important week on the Road Safety calendar. We needed to find a way to highlight the impact of road trauma in a provocative way, understanding the sensitivity of the content. The cross is a recognized symbol of deaths on our roads. We engaged Evoke media to bring this representation into the community.”
Mack said the activity resulted in personalized contact with the activation team and many stories being shared by people that are heart-wrenching.
“The crosses have stirred a lot of emotion with the general public. Hugs were shared. It has been a very gentle, kind, thought provoking, powerful activation.”
Elaine Barry from Evoke said: “I saw a number of people place a ribbon on the cross as if they were caressing a loved one. They held their hand in place of the ribbon on the cross, many closed their eyes, leaned their head on the cross and shed a tear.”
Stephanie Dirkz, Project Officer from Road Safety Commission said: “The Road Safety Council is delighted with the outcome of this National Road Safety Week partnership with Initiative and Evoke Media.”
“We are pleased the activation has resonated with so many people who have been able to share their own personal stories while taking the time to make a pledge to drive safely.”
“We commend Initiative and Evoke Media for choosing the right staff members to be a part of this activation, who were compassionate and were able to show empathy to those community members who chose to share their stories with them.”
“This type of community engagement reveals just how many people have been impacted by road trauma and reinforces the importance of continuing the road safety conversation with all West Australians and visitors to our state.”