Re­mem­ber those killed on the road and re­solve to re­duce the toll

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

to grow over­seas soon, just as Clean Up Aus­tralia Day has gone global, with in­ter­est from many other coun­tries.

This year the Sal­va­tion Army is mak­ing a big com­mit­ment by pro­vid­ing the shoes – all pre-owned, on a use-and-re­turn pro­gram – for three in­di­vid­ual in­stal­la­tions of 1500 pairs.

This is def­i­nitely our big­gest year. And it’s get­ting big­ger ev­ery year,’’ says road safety ex­pert Rus­sell White, the founder of Fa­tal­ity Free Fri­day.

It’s a very mov­ing re­minder when you see all those empty shoes and think of a per­son who should be wear­ing them.’’

White says the event has grown rapidly since the orig­i­nal in­stal­la­tion of shoes in Bris­bane, with Syd­ney join­ing the Queens­land and Vic­to­rian cap­i­tals this year. We’ll have an in­stal­la­tion for the first time in Cir­cu­lar Quay, in ad­di­tion to Fed­er­a­tion Sq in Mel­bourne and Queen St mall in Bris­bane,’’ he says. There are a stack of re­gional events, too.’’

White says the mes­sage for Fa­tal­ity Free Fri­day is sim­ple.

We want peo­ple to think con­sciously about their road use. They could be on two feet, two wheels, four wheels or more, and it’s about lit­tle things like cour­tesy, pa­tience, look­ing ahead in traf­fic,’’ he says. These are the sorts of things that start to shape a be­havioural change. I like to treat it like Clean Up Aus­tralia Day or Red Nose Day, where peo­ple get a re­minder on the day and so do some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent the next day. Lots of peo­ple are pas­sion­ate about road safety and this helps them take the first step.

Five or six peo­ple die ev­ery Fri­day in Aus­tralia. If we can save those lives and build from there it would be a bonus.’’

White says the event could ex­pand in­ter­na­tion­ally.

We’re get­ting in­ter­est from Canada, the Mid­dle East and the UK. It would be good to see it head­ing over­seas as well.’’ Visit www.fa­tal­i­tyfreefri­day.com

Spare a thought: Ella Fan­ning, 17 months, among hun­dreds of pairs of shoes, each rep­re­sent­ing a life lost on the nation’s roads this year

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