Road Safety

1. Overview

Willoughby Council aims to raise awareness of road safety through educational campaigns. These campaigns are funded by Council and Transport for NSW, and are aimed at specific road user groups.

Local communities need local information, something that mass media does not always provide. Road Safety Officers target those who would otherwise miss the message. 

2. Child Restraints

  • Always use an Australian Standards Approved child restraint 
  • Don't carry your child in your arms. In a crash you won't be able to hold onto them and he or she will be thrown around the vehicle interior or thrown out of the vehicle
  • Keep your child in a rearward-facing restraint until they are at least 6 months old. It is preferable to continue to use a rear facing restraint until the child is too big for the shoulder harness as this provides maximum protection.
  • Between the ages of 6 months and 4 years children must be restrained in an approved rearward or forward facing restraint that is properly fitted to the vehicle and adjusted to fit the child’s body.
  • Between 4 and 7 years of age children must be restrained in an approved forward facing restraint or booster seat that is properly fitted to the vehicle and adjusted to fit the child’s body.

3. Community Road Safety Presentations

You're the Driver!You’re the Driver! Workshop

The You’re the Driver! Workshop is for anyone who drives a vehicle. All levels of driving experience will benefit, from L platers to seniors. Get an update on the road rules, find out about the safety features of your vehicle and how they protect you in a crash, and learn about crash factors and how to avoid them. We also cover minimising the cost of driving by avoiding fines, and maintaining our vehicle. This workshop is run over two two-hour sessions. It’s free and held regularly during the year. 

For information about the next workshop dates, contact the Road Safety Officer on 9777 7723 or roadsafety@willoughby.nsw.gov.au.

Customised Road Safety Presentations

Willoughby City Council has produced a number of road safety presentations which can be presented by the Road Safety Officer, and an interpreter if necessary.

Presentations include topics such as:

  • pedestrian safety
  • getting a NSW drivers licence
  • essential info for newly arrived drivers
  • road rule refresher
  • crash risk factors on our roads and what we can do about them
  • use of child restraints and seat belts

Contact the Road Safety Officer on 9777 7723 for more information about tailoring a presentation for your group.

Motorcycles

As petrol prices go up, the number of motorcycles on the road will probably increase. Since motorcyclists are twenty times more likely to be killed in an accident than someone in a car, there are steps to take to help everyone get home.

Car and Truck Drivers

  • Motorcycles need a full lane. Don’t drive in the same lane as them.
  • Allow them as much space as you would a car when overtaking.
  • Motorcycles are easily hidden behind other vehicles. Check all your mirrors and look over your shoulder before merging or changing lanes.
  • At intersections make sure you know where a motorcycle is going to turn.
  • Motorcycles can rapidly speed up or slow down, and can stop in half the distance that a car can, so avoid tailgating.
  • In a roundabout, give motorcycles the same space you would give a car.

Motorcyclists

  • Position yourself so others can see you, and avoid being in someone’s blind spot.
  • Check your mirrors and over your shoulder before changing lanes.
  • Overtake carefully without speeding or swerving too much.
  • Ride at a speed that will let you react to the unexpected in time.
  • Be careful on curves and ride at the advised limit.
  • Be prepared to stop at intersections.
  • Make yourself visible; wear bright colours.
  • Wear a Standards Approved helmet with an AS1698 sticker.
  • Don’t ride when tired; riding a bike is more tiring than driving a car.
  • If you're a returning rider, consider a rider refresher course to update your skills.

Council has provided a number of motorcycle parking spaces within Chatswood, Artarmon and St Leonards. 

View Motorcycle Parking Maps

4. Pedestrians

Safety tips for pedestrians

  • Avoid using mobile phones or music devices
  • Cross at marked crossings or traffic lights
  • If you have to walk or run on the road, do so in the direction of oncoming traffic so you are more visible
  • At traffic lights cross only when the pedestrian signal is green.  Do not start to cross when the red light flashes
  • Before you cross a road, think about whether a driver can see you
  • Make eye contact with the driver before stepping out onto a crossing
  • Never assume a vehicle will stop for you
  • Avoid crossing between parked cars or in front of buses
  • Children eight years and under should hold an adult's hand at all times
  • Children ten years and under should hold an adult's hand when crossing the road
  • Wear bright or light coloured clothing at night or in reduced visibility conditions

Safety tips for drivers

  • You must give way to pedestrians crossing the road if you are in danger of colliding with them, even if there is no marked pedestrian crossing
  • Slow down on roads where there are likely to be pedestrians
  • Never assume a pedestrian has seen you and will wait for you to go past
  • Older pedestrians may need longer to cross
  • Children are difficult to see and may act unpredictably

5. Safety outside schools

When in school zones, observe the following guidelines to reduce risk to children:

  • DO NOT park in bus zones, on zebra crossings or on footpaths
  • NEVER double park. This reduces driver visibility, causes congestion and puts children at risk
  • NEVER call your child across the road
  • ALWAYS encourage your child to enter and exit the car from the kerb
  • BE PATIENT - observe the directions of the School Crossing Supervisor
  • REMEMBER children are full of surprises! Expect the unexpected

By following the rules around school zones we can work together to ensure the safety of our children.

Children are vulnerable road users and are at higher risk in traffic because of their size and inability to judge speed and distance.

Parking Safely Around Schools

Willoughby City Council has partnered with Mosman, North Sydney, Lane Cove and Ku-ring-gai Councils to support parents and carers at local primary schools. The Parking Safely Around Schools brochure(PDF, 5MB)  was produced to educate and raise awareness of road safety issues around schools such as parking, stopping distances and driveway safety.

Fines and loss of demerit points result from enforcement of the NSW Road Rules. For more information, visit Transport for NSW.

6. School Zones

School Zones mainly operate between 8:00am-9:30am and 2:30pm-4:00pm on gazetted school days although there are a small number of non-standard school zone times in New South Wales. Non standard zones are identified by red/orange school zone signs which display the times that apply.

Motorists are required to drive at no more than 40 km/h through School Zones at the School Zone times on any gazetted school days.

Many School Zone signs have now been fitted with flashing lights. The lights only operate at the times and days that the School Zone is in operation. Be aware that the days of operation are determined by the NSW Government’s gazetted school days. Even though there may be days when the school is not operational, the school zone will still be in force.

“Dragons teeth” have been painted on the road to help drivers recognise School Zones.

Heavy penalties and demerit points apply for both speeding and mobile phone use in School Zones.

7. Seniors Road Safety

Across New South Wales, 39 per cent of pedestrian fatalaties are aged over 60. Over 60s only make up 19 per cent of the population. Over 70s make up 29 per cent of pedestrian fatalaties but are only 10 per cent of the population. We need to work to keep our seniors safe. Willoughby City Council has a series of road safety programs aimed at seniors.

Workshops

Contact the Road Safety Officer on 9777 7723 for more information about road safety workshops.

Drive Safer, Drive Longer - Senior Drivers Workshop

This free workshop is run over two two-hour sessions, usually a week apart, and is especially for drivers over 55. The workshop covers:

  • Practical, low-risk driving tips
  • Information on the 85 years plus Transport for NSW driving test
  • Road rules refresher
  • Alternative travel options
  • Health and driving
  • Opportunity to have your driving questions answered

Street Savvy Seniors

This free two-hour workshop is run in conjunction with NSW Police and focuses on helping seniors stay mobile when they are not driving. The workshop covers:

  • Safety on the streets
  • Crossing with care
  • Using public transport successfully
  • Safety as a passenger

Safer mobility scooters/wheelchairs

This free workshop is for anyone considering investing in a mobility scooter. Find out about getting a mobility scooter to suit your needs, tips on handling a mobility scooter, and the law about how and where you can use one. This workshop is run when there is sufficient demand. Phone the Road Safety Officer on 9777 7723 to be included in the next workshop.

8. Speeding

Speed-related crashes account for a significant proportion of road casualties in the North Sydney region, and 40% of crashes happen on roads that have speed limits of 50 km/h or less.

Unless marked otherwise, the speed limit in Willoughby is 50 km/h, so please drive at this speed or under, depending on the conditions. Areas with speed limits of 40, 60, 70 and 80 km/h are clearly marked.

The speed limit in the Chatswood CBD has been lowered to 40 km/h in the interests of pedestrian safety. A car travelling at 50 km/h is twice as likely to kill a pedestrian than at 40 km/h. Stopping distance is reduced and visibility increases, so stick to 40km/h in the CBD.

Council has a mobile speed display trailer which is set up on local streets where there is a known speeding problem or where residents believe there is a speeding problem. The trailer is effective in making people aware of posted speed limits and reducing people’s speed on local streets.

If you can suggest a good location for the speed display, please contact council’s Road Safety Officer on 9777 1000.

9. Supervising Learner Drivers

Phone 9777 7723 for details on the next Supervising Learner Drivers workshop.

These free 2 hour workshops, developed by the Transport for NSW, are designed to:

  • Provide practical advice on how to conduct effective driving lessons
  • Assist parents and supervisors of learner drivers with the important role of advising and teaching novice drivers

The course covers topics such as:

  • Using a learner driver log book
  • Planning on-road driving sessions
  • Dealing with difficulties that may arise during driving practice
  • Giving the learner constructive feedback
  • Using a professional driving instructor
  • Requirements and restrictions for learner and P Plate drivers

The Supervising Learner Drivers workshop is all about helping learner drivers become safer drivers.