A Springwood family has presented NSW Parliament with one of the biggest petitions in its history as part of a road safety campaign.
The Frazer family presented the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group's petition calling for action on breakdown lane sizes and laws requiring drivers to slow down and move over when they see flashing emergency lights to Acting Premier Andrew Stoner at Parliament House yesterday (Tuesday).
The petition was started eight weeks ago following the deaths of 23-year-old Sarah Frazer and tow truck driver Geoff Clark after Sarah's car broke down and they were struck by a truck on the Hume Highway in February.
Tuesday marked the three-month anniversary of their deaths, and the 23,000 signatures on the petition represented "1000 for every year of my daughter's life", according to Sarah's father, Peter.
"What was different about Sarah's and Geoff's situation was that their horrific deaths shocked the Australian community because it highlighted that you could be killed just because your car overheats on Australia's premier highway," Peter told the media and about 100 family, friends and supporters on the steps of Parliament House.
"It is a reasonable community expectation that all our major roads, highways and freeways should be built with a continuity of breakdown lanes that at least meet the Australian standard.
"Secondly, it is also a reasonable community expectation that the safety of people has to be the priority.
". . . It is no longer morally acceptable to sacrifice people's safety by placing them in harm's way for an extra lane of pavement, nor is it morally acceptable to allow our first responders and emergency service personnel to be placed in harm's way."
Mr Stoner said the issue was "above politics" and both the government and opposition would work towards a solution to improve road safety.
"[This is] one of the largest petitions I've seen in my 14 years in this parliament," he said.
"Our government introduced new parliamentary rules that require a proper debate when we get a petition containing over 10,000 signatures.
"That debate will happen fairly shortly in the coming sitting weeks of this parliament and I look forward to the outcomes of that debate."
The RMS was currently conducting a major audit of non-metropolitan highways to identify the scope of the problem and where breakdown lanes were an issue, he said.