We join forces with NSW Police for #Five2Arrive

On Friday, 16 December, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network joined forces with NSW Police to release a joint safety message around the importance of preventing motor vehicle accidents. This came following an increase in presentations at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and in line with the launch of the NSW Police campaign “Operation Safe Arrival” driven by the hashtag #Five2Arrive.

#Five2Arrive

The message of #Five2Arrive, carries with it five simple tips for road users:

  1. Don’t speed.
  2. Don’t drink and drive
  3. Wear a seatbelt
  4. Put your phone away, and
  5. Take regular breaks

A press conference was held at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick to highlight this with Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Duncan Gay and Bernard Carlon from the Centre for Road Safety.

Caroline Goldman and her son, nine-year-old Jake Walsh, also spoke and shared their experience following Jake’s recent admission to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick after being hit by a taxi at a pedestrian crossing. Jake’s message was very clear: "Please look where you're going."

The toll

Since the start of November, 46 children have presented at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead due to injuries from motor vehicle collisions.

Injuries of the children seen range from cuts, grazes and bruising, through to skull, spinal, rib, leg and arm fractures. The worst injuries seen were those to the internal organs, which were often associated with life-threatening bleeding and severe head injuries with bleeding in the brain.

Dr Mary McCaskill, Executive Medical Director, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, said that it is shocking and alarming to see so many children brought to hospital from preventable collisions involving motor vehicles.

“The children we have seen recently were involved in crashes while in vehicles, sustained injuries due to lack of appropriate child restraints, were injured by cars in the driveway, and were involved in collissions while playing on the street on a bike or with friends.

“The extent of a child’s injuries from a major motor vehicle crash can be horrific. Recovery for children involved can be very long and painful, and distressing for the family.

“It takes a team of carers, nurses, and doctors to treat a child who has been in a serious crash, and there is often long-term rehabilitation involved.

“I have seen so many families torn apart by road trauma, particularly at this time of year, coming up to the festive season. “Over the Christmas period don’t forget, your driving doesn’t only affect your family, but also the other families on the road as well,” said Dr McCaskill.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, Acting Commander of the State’s Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, is urging drivers to follow #Five2Arrive to increase their chances of being able to spend Christmas with their families.

“Don’t speed! This should be obvious but people aren’t listening. Speeding is still the biggest contributor to fatal and serious crashes in NSW.

“Don’t drink and drive! There are no excuses. We will be out in force, and will take the driving privileges away from anyone who thinks it’s okay to drink or do drugs and drive.

“Wear a seatbelt! Wearing a seatbelt has been mandatory in NSW since 1971 and the evidence is clear that they save lives, yet we still see people dying on the roads when they are not worn.

“Put your phone away! When your eyes are on your phone, you are blind to the road.

“Take regular breaks! Fatigue is a major factor in road trauma. Take regular breaks in order to stay alert.

“Tragically there are 370 people who won’t be with their family this Christmas. Don’t let yourself or your family become a tragic statistic,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Minister for Roads Duncan Gay said there is one element of my job that keeps me up at night, particularly this year – the road toll.

“We can invest billions into making our road network safer and continue to deliver our road safety programs but we cannot control drivers, riders or pedestrians from making bad choices.

“When you’re travelling this holiday season, please ensure you’re well rested and follow the road rules so you and your family arrive at your destination safely.

“We’re always looking for new ways to save lives on NSW roads but motorists need to play their part as well, to help drive deaths and injuries on our roads toward zero,” Minister Gay said.

Operation Safe Arrival

Operation Safe Arrival commenced today (Friday 16 December 2016) and will conclude on Monday 2 January 2017.

Double demerits will be in place from Friday 23 December 2016 to Monday 2 January 2017.

Throughout the campaign, police will be out in larger numbers state-wide, targeting drink and drug driving, speeding, fatigue, seatbelt use, mobile-phone use and other types of dangerous driving.