Labor Shows No Serious Commitment To Long-Term Road Safety Strategy
The Australian Automobile Association has expressed disappointment with the ALP’s Transport Policy, and in particular, the decision to end Black Spot funding after the current financial year.
The Executive Director of the AAA, Lauchlan McIntosh, said it was clear from a recent Bureau of Transport Economics review of Black Spot funding that the program was a highly effective and efficient way of saving lives.
The BTE examined the three years from 1996/97 to 1998/99 and 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 BTE 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 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 that it continue," Mr. McIntosh said.
"In its Transport Policy Document Labor acknowledges that ‘Australians have a legitimate expectation that our transport systems should be the safest in the world’. Labor also commits to the Australian Transport Council’s objective of a 40% reduction in fatalities by 2010. This is welcome but can only be seen as empty words, when, at the same time, Labor cuts the Black Spot program.
"Labor’s decision to end the program shows a lack of serious commitment to road safety and, in light of the compelling evidence contained in the BTE review that the program saves lives and prevents serious accidents, it is quite frankly irresponsible," Mr. McIntosh said.
Mr. McIntosh expressed his concerns about Labor’s commitment to road safety at a Police Vehicle Safety Symposium in Melbourne last night.