We’re sharing this excellent post from Duncan Wakes-Miller in New South Wales

Amidst a concerning surge in road deaths on NSW roads, accurate and comprehensive media reporting emerges as a crucial tool in tackling this alarming trend.

Contrary to labelling incidents as mere ‘accidents,’ acknowledging them as ‘crashes’ or ‘incidents’ is pivotal. It dispels the notion of inevitability and fosters a culture of prevention.

Behind every statistic lies a profound human toll, impacting families and communities for generations. With over 250,000 individuals in NSW alone having experienced the loss of a loved one due to road-related tragedies, it’s imperative to recognise the preventable nature of these fatalities.

However, minimising accountability and sensationalising events can inadvertently distort risk factors and perpetuate dangerous complacency among drivers, compounding the trauma for those affected.

Recognising the need for change, the Road Trauma Support Group, drawing from lived experiences and extensive research, has developed comprehensive guidelines for responsible road trauma reporting. These guidelines, inspired by UK standards and endorsed by reputable bodies like the National Union of Journalists, aim to uphold journalistic integrity while supporting impacted individuals and educating the wider community on the realities of road trauma.

From the language used to depict incidents to the sensitive handling of interviews with affected families, these guidelines offer a roadmap for media outlets to navigate their reporting with compassion and accuracy.

As we confront the harrowing reality of rising road deaths, it’s incumbent upon Australian media to embrace these guidelines, paving the way for a more empathetic, informed, and ultimately safer road environment for all. The guidlines can be found here: https://www.rc-rg.com.au/