State politics | Tough new drink-driving penalties

ROLL UP: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole encourages all residents to get their flu vaccination shot before the peak flu season hits.
ROLL UP: Member for Bathurst Paul Toole encourages all residents to get their flu vaccination shot before the peak flu season hits.

THIS week is National Road Safety Week and a timely reminder for anyone getting in a car to ensure they are fit to drive.

Each year we lose more than 1200 people on Australian roads and in NSW alone we are already about to surpass 140 for 2019, up on this time last year.

Road safety is everyone's responsibility and it is really quite simple; plan ahead before you drive. Ensure you get a good night's sleep, drive to the conditions, stick to the speed limit and never risk driving if there's a chance you could be affected by drugs or alcohol.

On Monday, the NSW Government announced key reforms that will see drink drivers immediately removed from our roads. From May 20, even first-time low-range drink drivers will receive an immediate three-month licence suspension and a fine of $561.

The reality is, we have no tolerance for drink drivers. The 0.05 blood alcohol limit has been in place for almost 38 years so there are no excuses to be driving under the influence.

FLU VACCINATION

MORE than one million flu vaccines have now been delivered across the state so now is the best time for you to get vaccinated.

The vaccine is free for those most vulnerable, including pregnant women, those over 65 years old and anyone with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

There have been more than 9600 confirmed influenza cases in NSW already this year. Getting a free flu shot is the best protection for expectant mums and will help protect newborns in their first few months of life. It also the best protection for young children.

Free flu vaccines for children aged from six months to five years are available under the NSW Government's $2.6 million program.

Experts recommend sneezing into your elbow, washing your hands regularly and staying home when sick to prevent spreading flu.

We cannot be complacent so please, get your flu jab. I've had mine.

Paul Toole is the state Member for Bathurst