Alex Scott and Staff West Gippsland Football Netball League clubs will join clubs across Victoria in going the extra mile to tackle road safety, as they help kick off the inaugural TAC Towards Zero Round.
For the first time in the TAC’s 28-year-long partnership with AFL Victoria, the TAC is coordinating a state-wide, fixtured round for all grassroots and community football and netball clubs from August 2-4.
Through the TAC’s partnership with AFL Victoria, the Towards Zero Round will enable the TAC to share the message of road safety with more than 400,000 Victorians who are involved in local sporting clubs across the state.
The round will see more than 1,000 local football captains, as well as other team players, wearing the number 0 on their backs instead of their usual jumper number.
VFL, VFL women’s, netball players and junior footballers will also be involved in the initiative, with TAC rolling out a range of additional activities throughout the weekend.
TAC Acting Chief Executive Officer Bruce Crossett said the Towards Zero round aims to highlight the real value of reaching zero deaths on our roads and why it’s something all Victorians should be working towards.
“Grassroots football and netball clubs are the life blood of their communities and I’m sure you would be hard pressed to find someone involved who hasn’t been affected by road trauma,” Mr Crossett said.
“We believe that zero is the only acceptable number of deaths on our roads, but we need everyone to play their part,” he said.
“This round is putting road safety at the fore and we’re asking everyone to prioritise safety to make sure every journey is a safe one.”
Recent research from La Trobe University and AFL Victoria has highlighted the true value football clubs have for their
wider communities, revealing that for every player, football clubs reach 10 people in their community.
“The thousands of football and netball players right across the state cover hundreds of kilometres travelling to games throughout the season”, Mr Crossett said.
“Through our partnership with AFL Victoria, and the launch of the Towards Zero Round, we’re able to have a direct conversation with those Victorians about the role they play in making our roads safer and working towards zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” he said.
Alarmingly, 165 Victorians have already lost their lives on the roads this year, up from 104 at the same time as last year (56-per-cent increase). Tragically, 95 of these deaths have occurred on regional roads, compared with 52 the same time in 2018.
The Towards Zero Round is a new approach by the TAC and AFL Victoria to engage the community and increase awareness about critical road safety issues. As part of this initiative, the TAC have also invested $300,000 in a Community Grants Program, where local clubs will have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $10,000.
Community members can help spread the message that ‘Zero is Possible’ by tagging TAC in your Towards Zero Round photos on social media by searching Transport Accident Commission (TAC) on Facebook and @tacvictoria on Instagram.
To find out more about the Toward Zero Round and to see if your club is eligible to apply for the Community Grants Program, visit aflvic.com.au
ABOUT TAC AND TOWARDS ZERO
Towards Zero is a partnership between the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), VicRoads, Victoria Police, the Department of Justice and Regulation and the Department of Health and Human Services.
At the heart of Towards Zero is the belief that human health is more important than anything else. It acknowledges that, as people, we all make mistakes. However, when mistakes happen on our roads they can cost us our lives or cause serious injury.
Road safety is a shared responsibility between everyone and TAC, along with many transport, health and enforcement authorities are increasingly concerned about the impact road trauma is having on the wider Victorian community.
For more information on TAC and its driver distraction campaign, visit tac.vic.gov.au