Australia needs a change in direction on road safety

Posted at August 30, 2017 3:12 pm by AAA News

New analysis shows our roads remain unsafe and that the Government’s upcoming inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy will need to map a new direction in Australian road safety.

The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) Benchmarking the Performance of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) report for the June 2017 quarter which the number of people killed on Australian roads remains at unacceptably high levels.

In 2010 All Australian Governments agreed to the national strategy which was designed to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by 30 per cent by 2020. The AAA Report tracks progress against the NRSS target and finds:

  • That in the 12 months to June 2017, there were 1,241 fatalities on Australian roads.
  • Over the past 12 months, the number of motorcyclists killed has increased from 229 to 240 (an increase of 4.8%)
  • 253 people have died on Queensland roads, compared to 244 deaths in the same period in 2016 (an increase of 3.7%)
  • 181 people were killed on Western Australian roads, up from 169 over the same period in 2016 (an increase of 7.1%)
  • Other states remained the same or saw small reductions in the number of deaths.

The report shows that the National Road Safety Strategy has so far delivered a reduction in the annual road toll of just 13 per cent. With 1,241 deaths on our roads in the past year, this is little different to where we were in 2011. Given the decade-long strategy has only three years to run, it is becoming clear it will not deliver the targeted 30 per cent reduction in road deaths.

The AAA has called for a national inquiry to thoroughly understand what is causing more than 1,200 people to lose their lives on Australian roads each year, and around 800 per week seriously injured. The AAA sees this as an important step in developing effective road safety policy for the future.

The AAA welcomed the Government’s Budget night commitment to hold a national inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy and looks forward to playing an active part in that inquiry.