Last year was a shocker for road deaths in the NT. Towards Zero statistics show that by October 2022, ten pedestrians had been killed on our roads. All of those killed were Aboriginal and over half of them were killed in Darwin, Palmerston or Alice Springs.
Larrakia Nation and the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics through their Towards Zero campaign have been working together to try and bring pedestrians fatalities to zero. “Often people who come to Darwin from communities aren’t experienced in navigating busy roads” said David Kurnoth, the Cultural Program Coordinator at Larrakia Nation. “Communities don’t have traffic issues and therefore people aren’t used to it. Also, vehicles give way in community, we don’t do that in Darwin”.
Making Darwin pedestrians more visible
Larrakia Nation and DIPL have worked on three high visibility shirt designs, a new one each year and all funded by Towards Zero. In May 2022 we handed out phase two t-shirts which (green) through our HEAL program, which supports people sleeping rough in Darwin. Our HEAL staff are well connected to the long grass community, which means the t-shirts are handed to those who need them most.
In December 2022 we launched phase three of our t-shirts. The latest design is a bright yellow (pictured) with a high vis stripe designed to reflect car lights at night. The shirts were handed out at our regular Arts In The Grass BBQ.
“People have loved our phase one and two t-shirts. We saw people wearing them everywhere and I expect it’ll be the same for our phase three shirts” said David.
Funding important to tackling the issue
Funding from DIPL is vital to Larrakia Nation’s involvement in the Towards Zero campaign, and keeping pedestrians safe. DIPL has funded us to design and distribute the t-shirts in 2019/20, 2021/22 and again in 2022/23.
David believes the t-shirts are a vital resource in keeping people safe because of the high vis stripe. He hopes the funding will continue, because until there are zero pedestrian fatalities on our roads, there is more work to be done.
Featured image: ABC Darwin