Reduction In Road Toll Must Be Maintained
The peak national motoring organisation, the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), has released new analysis showing Australia's road toll has fallen in the year to June but governments must maintain a consistent effort to ensure it continues to decline.
"The reduction in road deaths is an encouraging development and hopefully it marks the start of a longer-term trend," AAA Executive Director Andrew McKellar said.
The latest Benchmarking the Performance of the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) shows 294 fatalities were recorded in the June 2013 quarter compared to 307 in the previous quarter – a decrease of 4.2 per cent.
"Although we welcome the improvement in these figures, there is a strong need to sustain this effort if we are to meet our target of reducing deaths and serious injuries by 30 per cent by 2020."
In the 12 months to June 2013, there were 1,274 road deaths recorded, a slight decrease of 0.4 per cent compared to the same period in 2012. However, the trend line from data since the start of the NRSS in 2011 suggests there will be around 1,150 fatalities in 2020, some way off the target of 998.
"The hard truth is that on current progress we will not achieve our targets, meaning urgent, coordinated action and investment is required from all governments," Mr McKellar said.
Despite an overall decline in the annual road toll, analysis of specific road user groups shows a concerning increase in the number of drivers and cyclists being killed.
"I urge all Australians to make safer roads a key issue when they vote this federal election," he said.
"Our own analysis through the latest AusRAP report shows a targeted investment in roads of $4.7 billion would save 36,000 lives and serious injuries over 20 years".