Road safety is everybody's responsibility. We work closely with Transport for NSW and NSW Police to deliver local road safety behavioural programs to improve safety on our roads.
We can all contribute to the safety of our community by using low-risk driving techniques; keeping an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists; and obeying the road rules. For State road safety campaigns that we are involved in, head to Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety.
Click on the following local road safety initiatives to find out more:
It is your responsibility when it comes to ensuring your vehicle and caravan combination falls within legal weight limits. There are ten different measurements you need to know about before driving away on holiday! The way you load your caravan can also impact stability when driving. Know the rules and have your set up weighed to safeguard your family and others on the road.
Building on the popular caravan towing workshops held in March 2023, Council has secured funding from Transport for NSW to hold a second round of informative workshops on Saturday 9 March 2024.
Register your interest with Council’s Road Safety & Traffic Officer on 4988 0527.
In the meantime, take a look at these informative links:
© Copyright State of New South Wales (Transport for NSW)
If you’re drinking – don’t drive. Always have a Plan B.
Choose safe transport options to get home safely. There are various courtesy buses operating across our region by members of the Port Stephens Liquor Accord.
Head to CourtesyBus.com.au to find venues in Port Stephens that offer a courtesy bus, their times of operation, locations of pick up/drop off and contact details for you to book your seat.
Council also partners with the Port Stephens Liquor Accord to use ‘Plan B’ messaging and encourage drivers to make safe choices when getting home after drinking. Follow Terry Godmother’s advice.
You don’t have to be drunk to be affected by alcohol. The effects of alcohol are wide ranging and impossible to avoid. These include:
- Slowed brain function
- Reduced ability to make decisions or react quickly
- Elevated confidence, leading to greater risk taking
- Reduced balance and coordination
- Increased drowsiness, making it easier to fall asleep at the wheel.
Taking illegal drugs before driving puts you at greater risk of a crash. Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety crash data shows that the presence of illegal drugs is involved in around the same number of fatal crashes as illegal levels of alcohol. Learn more about the effects and the penalties of drug driving here.
As young people approach driving age, it is important for their parent/guardian to be aware of the requirements of the 120 hours of supervised driving. P-plate drivers are involved in more crashes than any other driving group (including learner drivers). Parents and supervisors play a key role in guiding and promoting safe driving habits.
In partnership with Transport for NSW, Port Stephens Council holds workshops which offer practical advice and information to parents/guardians and supervising drivers on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers. The workshop includes information about:
- The Graduated Licensing Scheme and the current laws of L and P licence holders
- Completing the Learner driver log book or app
- The benefits of supervised on-road driving experience
- Tips and practical advice for supervising learner drivers
- Issues facing young drivers
- The Safer Drivers Course
Workshops can be scheduled by demand. Please register your interest by contacting Council’s Road Safety & Traffic Officer on 4988 0527.
Council partners with the Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation to promote pedestrian safety along the Nelson Bay foreshore during the busy Christmas holiday period. Colourful signage pops up as a reminder to drivers to slow down in recognition of the increased foot traffic in the region. The campaign also urges families to be extra vigilant when supervising children near the roadside and to hold hands when crossing the road.
Port Stephens Library has a copy of Little Blue Dinosaur Foundation Founder Michelle McLaughlin’s story “Tom’s Holiday”. It provides talking point for families and contains safety tips and reminders for parents and children about why it’s important to hold hands by the roadside.
Tips for Shared Pathways
Care should be taken in areas of high pedestrian activity due to the variety of users on shared pathways.
Here are some tips for path users:
- Cyclists and mobility scooters should slow down to walking speed and warn pedestrians of their approach by ringing a bell or calling out 'coming through'.
- Keep to the left on the path, this allows others to safely pass you if they wish.
- If you wish to stop, move off the path to the left so you don't obstruct other path users.
- If you are walking with your dog, please keep it on a short lead when passing by others.
- Make eye contact with a driver before stepping off the kerb. Don’t assume a driver has seen you.
- Use pedestrian crossings wherever possible.
- Children under the age of 10 years should be well supervised by an adult even on quiet back streets and should be taught to keep to the left.
- By law, all cyclists, regardless of age, must wear an Australian standards approved bicycle helmet whenever they ride.
Motorcycling the Hunter
The Hunter Region is home to some of the most popular motorcycling routes in the State. Motorcycling the Hunter is a joint project between neighbouring Councils in the region and aims to lessen motorcycle crashes on recreational routes.
The “Motorcycling the Hunter” booklet has been developed to showcase some of the Hunter’s best motorcycling routes and increase safety knowledge for riders.
Download the latest interactive Motorcycling the Hunter booklet (PDF 12.6MB).
Spot Joe Rider
Port Stephens Council ran its third and most successful ‘Joe Rider’ motorcycle awareness road safety campaign from 9-13 October 2023. It coincided with Motorcycle Awareness Month in a joint initiative between Cessnock, Maitland, MidCoast, MidWestern and Port Macquarie-Hastings Councils.
Crashes involving motorcycles account for nearly 10% of total crash numbers in Port Stephens. The campaign’s aim is to encourage road users to look out for motorcyclists and reduce the incidence of SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You) crashes.
The Joe Rider campaign sees volunteer motorcyclists riding around wearing an “I am Joe Rider” branded yellow high visibility vest. The public ‘spot’ Joe Rider during the campaign week and enter the competition for monetary prizes.
Congratulations to the 2023 winners!
- $50 Daily Prizes – Phil, Anthea, Joy, Noel and Brett
- $250 Grand Prize – Liz (pictured below)
Thank you to the 2023 volunteers riding as ‘Joe’:
Peter, Jola, Chris, Tony, Troy and Paul
Please look for motorcyclists on the road, particularly at roundabouts, intersections and when changing lanes, to help motorcyclists Ride to Live.
Skills Update for Returning Motorcyclists
Council will facilitate a free workshop to update rider technical skills, refresh safe riding techniques and review first responder first aid for motorcyclists returning to riding after a break from the bike.
The date for the workshop is yet to be determined but is likely to take place in the first half of 2024.
Please contact our Road Safety Officer on 4988 0527 to register your interest.
How do you take a safe corner? Watch this video demonstration:
Some helpful motorcycling related websites:
Please choose safety over convenience when it comes to movement in school zones. School zones contain enforceable time-bounded traffic and parking rules to increase pedestrian safety for school children during key drop off and pick up times.
You will find the following regulatory signs around schools. Please familiarise yourself with what each sign means and actively look for them at your child’s school.
Schools, parents and guardians can download the following information flyers about school zones:
- PSC School Flyer - Single sided parking rules and tips (PDF 253.7KB)
- PSC School Flyer - Doubled sided parking rules and tips (PDF 452.5KB)
The NSW Centre for Road Safety contains further information about safety around school zones.
Driving too fast is the biggest contributor to death and injury on NSW roads. In Port Stephens, 1 in 5 crashes involve speeding. Council supports the enforcement of speed limits in Port Stephens to reduce the likelihood of crashes and improve crash outcomes.
The faster you go, the longer it takes to stop.
© State of New South Wales (Transport for NSW) 
Speed also impacts the chance of survival in a crash:
(Based on Wramborg, P 2005, ‘A new approach to a safe and sustainable road structure and street design for urban areas’, Road safety on four continents conference, 2005, Warsaw, Poland, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI), Linkoeping, Sweden.)
With funding from Transport for NSW’s Local Government Road Safety Program, Council uses speed displays to remind drivers of their responsibility to adhere to set speed limits. They are located in carefully selected locations and moved on a rotational basis.
Council works in partnership with Port Stephens-Hunter Police Command to support state-wide enforcement operations and to provide data for targeted enforcement on local streets.
Speed limits are set by Transport for NSW. Remember, 50km/hr is the default speed limit in all built up areas in NSW without a speed sign. If you don’t know the limit, slow down to 50.
You may submit a request to Transport for NSW for a speed limit review here.
The Centre for Road Safety website contains information about the Speed Adviser app, the locations of speed cameras and how to nominate a location for a speed camera. See more here.
Reporting speeding or dangerous driving
NSW Police are the responsible agency for driving violations on our roads. Police rely on information from the public to make our streets safer. You are encouraged to report instances of unsafe or reckless driving and breaches of law, including speeding and hooning behavior, by calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.