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NSW: State on target for lowest toll since 1943: minister

24 Dec 2008 4:13 PM

SYDNEY, Dec 24 AAP - NSW is on track to record the lowest annual road toll since 1943, despite a bad start to the festive season with seven road deaths in four days.

A woman was killed on the mid-north coast on Wednesday when the car in which she was a front seat passenger crashed, taking this year's toll to 390.

"We're off to a bad start to the holiday season," NSW Roads Minister Michael Daley told reporters on Wednesday.

"Seven people have lost their lives on NSW roads since Sunday. That's seven people who won't be here to enjoy Christmas. But a number of other families, 50, 100, who knows how many people's lives have been ruined as a consequence of those seven deaths.

"Many people who won't look at Christmas or the holiday season the same way ever again. Most of the deaths that have occurred on NSW roads over the last week have been preventable."

The minister said it was hoped the 2008 road toll could be kept below 400.

"We were aiming for a symbolic number of 400 which would be a record low since 1943 for the year," he said.

"We talk about the symbolic number of 400, (but) that's still 400 people and thousands of families whose lives have been ruined."

Mr Daley said speed, fatigue and alcohol were the main causes of traffic incidents and urged drivers to take regular breaks during their travels.

Driver reviver stations around NSW are expected to serve more than 400,000 biscuits and 250,000 cups of tea and coffee to travellers during the Christmas-New Year period.

"Speed, alcohol and fatigue are by far the biggest killers on the road," Mr Daley said.

"The government and the police can't be in the car with every driver. Drivers have to take responsibility for their own actions over the holiday break."