Better crash and injury information the key to safer roads

Posted at December 6, 2016 4:33 am by Tim McLaren

On 5 December 2016 the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the Government would provide $450,000 to fund the Australian Trauma Registry.

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) welcomes this as an important step in understanding road trauma and helping to target government investment to make our roads safer.

Despite all Australian Governments signing up to the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by 30 per cent by 2020, the AAA‘s Benchmarking the Performance of the National Road Safety Strategy report shows 1,273 people died on Australian roads in the year to September 2016, 86 more than the previous year.

But while the increasing death toll can be accurately measured, the rate of serious injuries caused in road crashes has not been able to be tracked nationally. The best estimate, made some years ago, is that around 625 Australians are seriously injured on the roads each week.

As we are more than halfway through the national strategy to reduce the road toll and deaths are again on the rise, we need to act. And because the first step in fixing any problem is understanding its magnitude, the Government‘s funding for the Australian Trauma Registry will provide everybody involved in road safety with better information to target safety efforts to the most effective areas.

The AAA and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons have long advocated for funding for the Australian Trauma Registry. We congratulate the Government on this important investment in making our roads safer.