More Funds for Black Link Roads
Australia’s peak motoring organisation, the Australian Automobile Association, today called on all political parties to take a positive move towards lowering the national road fatality rate by focussing on “black link” sections of national highway which have a proven history of crashes, injuries and fatalities.
AAA and Australia’s motoring organisations – NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAASA, RACWA, RACT and AANT – called for identification and increased funding for those sections of road which have proven high crash and fatality rates, yet are outside funding guidelines under the Commonwealth’s Black Spot program.
While welcoming announcements of increased funding for the Commonwealth’s Black Spots program, AAA said more can and must be done to make dangerous road sections safer in the interest of all motoring Australians.
AAA Executive Director, Mike Harris, said there was a clear need for a greater focus on, and maintenance of, those road sections which have been identified as having high crash rates with serious injury and fatalities.
“AAA and the motoring clubs, through the Australian Road Assessment Program, have clearly identified those sections of road which have a history of crashes,” Mr Harris said.
“The AusLink network represents less than 3% of all Australian roads, it accounts for around 14% of all road deaths - these roads are not eligible for already stretched Black Spot funding as they are on the AusLink national highway network.
“AAA’s 2007 election strategy, Motoring Matters - For Every Australian, calls for political parties to commit $100 million a year to a Black Links program and an upgrade of the Black Spots program from $60 million to $100 million a year.
“AAA welcomes the road infrastructure funding announcements made by political parties during the course of this election, but there is a need to target these areas of roads where crashes are greatest and Australians are injured and dying every day.
“Australia is well behind target on its National Road Safety Strategy. Five people die on average every day in Australia at a cost of more than $17 billion a year (Australian Centre for Economic Research on Health, 2006) – that is a national tragedy that seems to be forgotten or overlooked in this election campaign.”
To view AAA’s election strategy, Motoring Matters – For Every Australian, please go to www.aaa.asn.au.