News

Revealed: The Nation’s Worst Highways

19.1.2012

The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) has released the latest report card on the state of the nation's roads, revealing almost one in five highways is rated as 'High Risk'.

The Australian Road Assessment Program (AusRAP) analyses the road safety risk of the national highway network based on real-life traffic, death and serious injury statistics.

"Safe roads are a vital component of reducing the road toll and there are still too many people being killed or injured in crashes because of poor road design, poor maintenance and roadside hazards," AAA Executive Director Andrew McKellar said.

AusRAP surveys 20,000 kilometres of the national highway network, carrying over 15 per cent of the nation's road traffic. In 2005-2009, 1,170 people died on those roads surveyed compared to 1,210 in the previous five years – a reduction of three per cent.
Seventeen per cent of the nation's highways are now rated as 'High Risk' – an improvement of six per cent since the last report issued in 2007.

Twenty-three per cent of the nation's highways are rated as 'Low Risk' – an eight per cent improvement on the previous reporting period.

"Some progress has been achieved to improve the national highway network and it is encouraging to see the percentage of low risk roads has increased and those rated as high risk has decreased,"

"Despite the improved results it is important the community must not become complacent about road safety with governments and motorists taking shared responsibility for their actions," Mr McKellar said.

"It is acknowledged that major, well-travelled highways need continual investment to improve safety but a list of the 'worst links' in each state reveals many smaller highways are being over represented in the statistics,"

"A wide range of relatively low-cost treatments are available to improve the safety of rural roads and these include removing roadside hazards or protecting them with barriers, providing or sealing shoulders and installing tactile edge lines to alert drivers who stray off the road," he said.

"The report was a timely reminder of the important principles of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action on Road Safety 2011-2020 in which the AAA and state motoring clubs aim to improve road safety through effective, common sense measures,' Mr McKellar said.

AusRAP is an initiative of the AAA and the state and territory motoring clubs to assist in determining road funding priorities and also to inform motorists of the potential dangers of a highway.

More information is available on the AusRAP website - www.ausrap.org

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