The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues have teamed up with Transport for NSW to launch the 2019 Knock-On Effect campaign in a bid to tackle road deaths and serious injuries across NSW.
The campaign is spearheaded by Bryden Lawyers NSW Blues advisor Greg Alexander and coach Brad Fittler who were both personally affected by a road death tragedy after Ben Alexander was killed in a car accident in 1992.
“There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about Ben,” Alexander said at the launch at North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club where the NSW team is preparing for Game One of the Holden State of Origin series.
“He was far from the reckless type but he made one reckless decision that cost him his life.
“It had a devastating effect on me, my family, Ben’s friends and the community.”
Fittler, who has Ben’s nickname ‘Boods’ tattoed on his arm, said: “Ben was one of my best mates and I would never want anyone to experience anything like that.
“Too many people are dying and being seriously injured on our roads and it’s having a devastating ‘Knock-On Effect on families and local communities.
“The Knock-On Effect partnership is about getting the players out into the communities to talk to people face to face about what is happening on their roads, in their communities, and how we can work together to make the right decisions on our roads.”
NSWRL Head of Commercial and Digital Jodie Cross said: “NSW Rugby League values our partnership with Transport for NSW as we believe Rugby League is a powerful platform to deliver important road safety messaging in the community.
“The popularity of the NSW Blues enables us to engage with a vast audience across NSW.”
The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues are behind the campaign with the players heading to five different schools in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs on Wednesday 28 May to help spread the message about road safety and that every decision on the road matters.
Alexander and Fittler have also combined to film a powerful commercial in which they recall the devastating impact that Ben’s death had on them, after he headed out to celebrate after the Penrith Panthers had their premiership blazers presented to them for their 1991 success.
Executive Director of the Centre for Road Safety, Bernard Carlon, said the road safety partnership with NSW Rugby League was designed to tap into Rugby League’s huge popularity across the State to deliver important road safety messaging at a local level.
“Every 41 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured on NSW roads,” Carlon said.
“That’s about the time it takes to watch half a game of football.
“Speeding remains the main cause of death and injuries on our roads, contributing to about 39 per cent of NSW road fatalities last year, with driving tired (19 per cent) and alcohol (16 per cent) also playing a part in fatal crashes.
“The road is no place for excuses and we are asking everyone – drivers, riders, passengers and pedestrians – to think about the consequences of their actions.
“Everyone can make a difference with the decisions they make on the road every day – stay under the speed limit, plan ahead and avoid driving tired, and make sure you have a Plan B when you’re drinking.”