Centre for Road Safety

Local drivers most at risk

Our Saving Lives on Country Roads campaign encourages country drivers to re-think the common excuses used to justify their behaviour on the road. Ultimately, there is no excuse for unsafe behaviour on the road, because it can have tragic and life-changing consequences.

Our video shows that locals are dying on our roads – our families and our mates.

Drink driving is one of the top three contributing factors to deaths on regional roads alongside speeding and fatigue.

Say "yeah...NAH" to drink driving.


While country residents make up only one-third of the NSW population, two-thirds of all fatalities occur on country roads. There is a strong belief that locals are safer on the road than ‘city people’ or ‘tourists’, and that crashes won’t happen to them. However, more than 70 per cent of fatal crashes on country roads involve country residents.

Despite the fact that the majority of fatalities on country roads are local residents, Transport for NSW research found that country drivers often resist the notion that the way they drive puts themselves or others at risk. There is also a tendency for complacency, over confidence and lower perception of risk when driving on familiar roads.


The primary campaign audience is regional males aged 30 to 59 years, who make up the largest proportion of fatalities on country roads. From 2012 to 2016, the 30 to 59 year age group accounted for 458 deaths, 39 per cent of the total fatalities on country roads.

The campaign also aims to engage with the broader regional audience by encouraging friends, family and local communities to influence safe driving behaviour.


The campaign has been developed to challenge the perceptions of country drivers by highlighting:

  • Country people are dying on country roads - it could be your mates, your family or you
  • The everyday excuses drivers use to justify risky behaviour have no place on the road
  • Your decision to drive too fast, drive while tired or to have one more drink can result in serious consequences for yourself and others
  • We need to be aware of the risks on the road at all times and avoid them, even on familiar roads
  • We all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and our communities safe on the road.


The campaign includes 60-second and 30-second television advertisements, as well as radio, print, digital and social advertising in regional NSW. It is supported by public relations and outreach, community and stakeholder engagement.


Campaign tracking research is used to monitor how effectively the message reaches the target audience, as well as any changes that may occur in driver behaviour.