Central Victorian footballers, officials and supporters across the state will don blue armbands this weekend to honour people killed on our roads and show their commitment to road safety.

This will showcase one of the longest running community relationships for an AFL entity, marking the 30th year of the AFL Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) partnership.

The TAC Road Safety Round, held from August 6-8, will see more than 1200 clubs leading road safety conversations in their communities, reaching the more than 700,000 members of grassroots regional and metropolitan football and netball clubs.

The blue armbands, which will be worn state-wide this weekend, have a QR code that links to an online hub that features stories from ambassadors and the football community, sharing why road safety matters to them.

St Kilda Football Club senior coach Brett Ratten, whose son Cooper died in a car crash in 2015, launched the round at RSEA Park on Wednesday, alongside representatives of the TAC and AFL Victoria.

The Hon. Ben Carroll, Minister for Roads and Road Safety, threw his support behind the round.

“You would be hard-pressed to find a grassroots football or netball club in Victoria that hasn’t experienced road trauma, which has an ongoing ripple effect through the whole club.” Minister Carroll said.

“Road Safety Round is so crucial in having important conversations with the people who travel on the roads every day, and encouraging them to make safe choices and look out for each other.”

Brad Scott, Head of AFL Victoria, echoed Minister Carroll’s sentiment, sharing that every club and individual can play a role in driving statewide change.

“Local footy clubs are the heart of the Victorian community. So once again, this weekend, we’re privileged to be teaming up with the TAC and marking 30 years of working together and leading the conversation to help reduce the incidents of road trauma.

“Last year, 126 people died on regional Victorian roads, and there were 85 fatalities in metro areas, that’s too many families and people in our community having to live with the loss of a loved one.

“We know that many footballers drive long distances every weekend to play the game they love, but this message is important every day of the year,” said Mr. Scott.

Community members can get involved by filming their reason for wearing the band and wanting safer roads, sharing socially using #tacbandtogether, or visiting to learn more.

TAC Road Safety Round was originally scheduled to take place in July, however lockdown led to postponement. It is complemented by the TAC’s Club Rewards Program that offers grants of up to $10,000 to clubs that engage with their members on road safety issues.