National Leadership Can Bring Results on Road Safety
Australia can benefit from national leadership to ensure road safety targets are met, Australia’s peak motoring body claimed today.
Executive Director of the Australian Automobile Association, Lauchlan McIntosh, was speaking at the international Institute of Transportation Engineers 75th Annual Meeting in Melbourne.
Mr McIntosh said that, while Australia had a good overall record and national strategy in road safety, the results across the country were diverse and our target for improvement not as ambitious as in Europe.
Mr McIntosh said Commonwealth funding through the Auslink National Transport Plan could be tied to specific road safety measures such as those suggested in the House of Representatives Committee report on road safety, released in May 2004. This would include activities such as developing a nationally consistent accident database and alcohol interlocks.
Mr McIntosh said strong leadership – such as that provided by French President, Jacques Chirac, in using the historic Bastille Day Address in 2002 to highlight the high French road toll and commit his Government to tackling the problem – was required.
In 2002, 7400 people died on the roads in France – two years later, the number has dropped to 4900.
“In Australia, some 1700 people have died since the release of the House of Representatives report – five people every day,” Mr McIntosh said.
“The Commonwealth and the States together can implement simple, obvious actions to save lives.”