Call For Political Parties To Commit To An Extended Blackspot Road Safety Program
The Australian Automobile Association has welcomed the released of a Bureau of Transport Economics (BTE) evaluation of the national Black Spot Program and called on the political parties to commit to continuing and expanding the Program.
The BTE examined the three years from 1996/97 to 1998/99 and found that the Program had been an outstanding success in reducing fatalities and serious accidents. It found that the program had generated a net present value of $1.3 billion dollars and a benefit-cost ratio (BCR) of 14, which is extremely high compared to BCRs for other road construction projects.
The BTE found that ‘Overall, the Black Spot program appears to have been highly effective in reducing the number of casualty crashes. It is estimated the Program prevented around 32 fatal accidents and 1,539 serious crashes’ during the three-year evaluation period.
The Executive Director of the AAA, Lauchlan McIntosh, said it was clear from the report that the Black Spot program should not only continue, but be expanded.
"The only real criticism in the report is of the States for failing to collect and handle data on the Program in a timely and effective way. It is interesting to note that an evaluation in 1995 leveled similar criticism at the States," Mr. McIntosh said.
"The Black Spot Program is an important national road safety initiative that has the potential to contribute substantially towards the National Road Safety Strategy target of reducing fatalities by 40% by 2010. It is therefore essential the States play their part through effective data collection and management.
"Overall the Report confirms that the Black Spot program should continue with some modification to further increase its effectiveness. AAA calls on all major political parties to commit to its long-term funding and expansion. Saving lives and reducing injuries through such a beneficial program requires an urgent apolitical response.
"We will be writing to the Liberal, National and Labor parties and the Australian Democrats seeking strong commitments to a new and extended Black Spot Program," Mr. McIntosh said.